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Gagne, F. & Lydon, J. (2004). Bias and accuracy in close relationships: An integrative review. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 8, 322-338.



Intimates typically are positively biased in their relationship evaluations. Given this fact, how can intimates regulate their esteem needs about their relationships and still function effectively, without risking later regret and disappointment? We address this issue by first reviewing work showing that because bias and accuracy are independent, they can co-exist. We next show how bias and accuracy are subject to different evaluative motives, relationship evaluations, and situations. It is argued that the pursuit of important goals is a time when people are motivated tofeel good about their relationships. This is a time when relationship judgments are positively biased and relatively inaccurate. However, important choice points in the relationship are times when people are motivated to both accurately understand their relationships and to feel good about their relationships. These dual needs can be simultaneously met by becoming more accurate in epistemic-related relationship judgments while being more positively biased in esteem-related relationship judgments.

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