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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses and resolves a central paradox in research on intimate relationships; to wit, love appears to be both blind and firmly rooted in the real world. We discuss three questions, in particular, concluding that bias in relationships can be quite rational, that judgments can be biased and accurate at the same time, and that to some extent people know what they want in relationships and know when they have it. In the second part of the chapter we outline a model dealing with the causes and consequences of accuracy and bias in partner and relationships judgments, and we review research showing that people overall exhibit both positive bias and good levels of tracking accuracy across research domains and samples. We then discuss the way in which various moderating variables (e.g., relationship stage, gender, individual differences) influence the links between goals, judgment accuracy, and relationship outcomes. We conclude that the current evidence is consistent with both evolutionary and social psychological approaches.

Keywords: intimate relationships, relationship bias, individual differences, partner and relationships judgments, relationship variables

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