Similarity in Situation Perception Predicts Relationship Satisfaction
Personality Psychology and Psychological Assessment, Psychologische Hochschule Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tanja M. Gerlach
School of Psychology, Queen´s University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland;
Department of Psychology, University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany
For one partner, the kitchen looks clean; for the other, the kitchen needs cleaning. Is satisfaction with our relationship tied to whether we see the world the same way our partner does? In two dyadic longitudinal studies, we investigated how similarity in the perception of situations predicts relationship satisfaction in romantic relationships. In Study 1, 203 couples participated in a 14-day diary. In Study 2, 139 couples participated in a 7-day experience sampling. At each time point, partners separately reported their perception of a situation they had experienced together, using the DIAMONDS taxonomy (Study 1) and the Situational Interdependence Scale (Study 2). Across taxonomies, more similar situation perception positively predicted state relationship satisfaction and changes in trait relationship satisfaction at follow-up. Findings have important implications for understanding couples’ everyday lives and speak to the consequences of situation perception in close relationships.