Abstract

Abstract:

Individuals who perceive that their partner is satisfied with individuals' bodies are more sexually satisfied than those who perceive that their partner is dissatisfied. Using the truth and bias model of judgment, we investigated whether perceptions were based on (a) truth (partners' actual satisfaction with individuals' bodies), (b) projection (individuals' own body satisfaction), and (c) directional bias (unmeasured sources of bias that influence perceptions; e.g., sociocultural ideals). We hypothesized that truth and projection would independently contribute to individuals' perceptions of partners' satisfaction with individuals' bodies and that individuals would underestimate partners' satisfaction with individuals' bodies (negative directional bias). We also hypothesized that individuals' perceptions of partners' satisfaction would positively predict both partners' sexual satisfaction. We investigated these hypotheses in a one-year longitudinal study of 123 mixed-sex cohabiting couples. Individuals' perceptions of partners' satisfaction with individuals' bodies were predicted by truth and projection, which suggests that individuals accurately track and incorporate partners' satisfaction with individuals' bodies into their perceptions, but also that individuals project their satisfaction with their body onto partners. Contrary to our expectations, individuals overestimated partners' satisfaction with individuals' bodies (positive directional bias). Partially supporting our hypotheses, individuals' perceptions of partners' satisfaction with individuals' bodies positively predicted individuals' but not partners' sexual satisfaction over one year. These results suggest that truth and projection independently contribute to perceptions of partners' satisfaction with individuals' bodies and that positive perceptions may contribute to individuals' sexual satisfaction.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2291-7063
Print ISSN
1188-4517
Pages
pp. 120-133
Launched on MUSE
2019-08-24
Open Access
No
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