Do You Know What I Feel? Partners' Predictions and Judgments of Each Other's Emotional Reactions to Emotion-Eliciting Situations

Do You Know What I Feel? Partners' Predictions and Judgments of Each Other's Emotional Reactions... The goal of the present study was to investigate empathic accuracy in couples, specifically the partners' ability to predict each other's emotional reactions to social situations. For this, 36 French Canadian couples aged from 18 to 34 years predicted their own reactions as well as their partner's reactions to a series of emotional situations. They then role-played these emotional situations while being videotaped. At a later time, the taped role-play segments were rated by the role-play actors themselves, by their partners, and by 5 individuals who did not know the actors. Results revealed high levels of empathic accuracy when we compared the partners' predictions of each other's reactions. However, when these predictions were compared with the participants' self-evaluations of their role-plays or with evaluations by individuals who did not know the actors, partners showed a positive bias in that they predicted more appropriate and fewer inappropriate reactions to the social situations for their partners than were self-rated by the partners themselves or rated by individuals who did not know the actors. Finally, the existence of couple-specific private meaning systems could not be confirmed in the present context as the evaluations of emotional expressions by unknown others, the actors' partners, and the actors themselves were largely congruent. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Do You Know What I Feel? Partners' Predictions and Judgments of Each Other's Emotional Reactions to Emotion-Eliciting Situations

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1022340511651
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The goal of the present study was to investigate empathic accuracy in couples, specifically the partners' ability to predict each other's emotional reactions to social situations. For this, 36 French Canadian couples aged from 18 to 34 years predicted their own reactions as well as their partner's reactions to a series of emotional situations. They then role-played these emotional situations while being videotaped. At a later time, the taped role-play segments were rated by the role-play actors themselves, by their partners, and by 5 individuals who did not know the actors. Results revealed high levels of empathic accuracy when we compared the partners' predictions of each other's reactions. However, when these predictions were compared with the participants' self-evaluations of their role-plays or with evaluations by individuals who did not know the actors, partners showed a positive bias in that they predicted more appropriate and fewer inappropriate reactions to the social situations for their partners than were self-rated by the partners themselves or rated by individuals who did not know the actors. Finally, the existence of couple-specific private meaning systems could not be confirmed in the present context as the evaluations of emotional expressions by unknown others, the actors' partners, and the actors themselves were largely congruent.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 28, 2004

References

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