Positive illusions about a partner's physical attractiveness and relationship quality

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Abstract

The present research examined the existence of positive illusions about a partner's physical attractiveness and its relations to relationship quality. Positive illusions were assumed to exist when individuals rated their partner as more attractive than their partner rated him or herself. In two Dutch community samples of 117 and 203 married or cohabiting heterosexual couples, both partners rated their own and their partner's facial and bodily attractiveness. In Study 2, both partners completed three measures of relationship quality. Both studies found evidence for the existence of positive illusions about a partner's physical attractiveness. Moreover, Study 2 found clear positive illusion actor effects for relationship quality. This association differed by age of couples.

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