The Mismeasure of Love: How Self-Doubt Contaminates Relationship Beliefs

  title={The Mismeasure of Love: How Self-Doubt Contaminates Relationship Beliefs},
  author={Sandra L. Murray and John G. Holmes and Dale W. Griffin and Gina M. Bellavia and Paul Rose},
  journal={Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin},
  pages={423 - 436}
The authors argue that individuals with more negative models of self are involved in less satisfying relationships because they have difficulty believing that they are loved by good partners. Dating and married couples completed measures of self-models, perceptions of the partner’s love, perceptions of the partner, and relationship well-being. The results revealed that individuals troubled by self-doubt underestimated the strength of their partners’ love. Such unwarranted insecurities predicted… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Putting the partner within reach: a dyadic perspective on felt security in close relationships.
Putting the partner of a dating couple more within the psychological grasp of low self-esteem people may effectively increase felt security in the partner's regard.
Inhibiting Self-Protection in Romantic Relationships
A daily diary study of married couples tested the hypothesis that automatic partner attitudes regulate self-protection for low, but not high, self-esteem people. For 14 days both partners reported
The Contingencies of Interpersonal Acceptance: When Romantic Relationships Function as a Self-Affirmational Resource
Existing research suggests that people with high, but not low, self-esteem use their dating partners' love and acceptance as a resource for self-affirmation when faced with personal shortcomings. The
Enhancing relationship perceptions by reducing felt inferiority: The role of attachment style
To trust in a romantic partner’s acceptance and love, people need to believe they are just as good a person as their partner (and that their partner shares this perception). Yet, people low in
Overcoming acceptance insensitivity: Increasing low self-esteem individuals' perceptions of value to their partners
People with low self-esteem (LSEs) often have doubts about how much their romantic partners love and value them. These doubts, which undermine their relationships, are difficult to overcome because
Calibrating the sociometer: the relational contingencies of self-esteem.
A longitudinal daily diary study examined how chronic perceptions of a partner's regard for oneself might affect the day-to-day relational contingencies of self-esteem, finding people who chronically felt more positively regarded compensated for one day's acute self-doubts by perceiving greater acceptance and love from their partner on subsequent days.
I Gave Too Much
Low self-esteem is often related to interpersonal difficulties. In fact, low self-esteem people fear rejection and tend to adopt self-protection goals. In the present work, we tested the idea that
Rain on My Parade
Ample evidence suggests that the behavior of people with low self-esteem (LSEs) can lead to problems in close relationships. To the authors' knowledge, however, no research has investigated the role
Implications of Reflected Appraisals of Interpersonal Insecurity for Suspicion and Power
This research suggests that beliefs that one is perceived as insecure, even when they are misguided, can partially explain interpersonal cognitions associated with actually being insecure.


A Leap of Faith? Positive Illusions in Romantic Relationships
It is proposed that satisfying, stable relationships reflect intimates' ability to see imperfect relationships in somewhat idealized ways-to make a leap of faith. Both members of dating and married
The benefits of positive illusions: Idealization and the construction of satisfaction in close relationships.
It is proposed that satisfaction is associated with idealistic, rather than realistic, perceptions of one's partner. To provide baselines for assessing relationship illusions, both members of married
The self-fulfilling nature of positive illusions in romantic relationships: love is not blind, but prescient.
In this study of the long-term benefits (or possible costs) of positive illusions, both members of dating couples completed measures of idealization and well-being 3 times in a year to reveal that idealization had a variety of self-fulfilling effects.
Embracing the Bitter “Truth”: Negative Self-Concepts and Marital Commitment
We propose that because self-concepts allow people to predict (and thus control) the responses of others, people want to find support for their self-concepts. They accordingly gravitate toward
The self-fulfilling prophecy in close relationships: rejection sensitivity and rejection by romantic partners.
The authors hypothesized a self-fulfilling prophecy wherein rejection expectancies lead people to behave in ways that elicit rejection from their dating partners. The hypothesis was tested in 2
What the Motivated Mind Sees: Comparing Friends' Perspectives to Married Partners' Views of Each Other
This article argues that satisfaction in marriage is associated with motivated and benevolent biases in perception. Married couples individually completed measures of relationship satisfaction and
Trust in close relationships.
A theoretical model describing interpersonal trust in close relationships is presented. Three dimensions of trust are identified, based on the type of attributions drawn about a partner's motives.
Commitment, pro-relationship behavior, and trust in close relationships.
An interdependence-based model of the associations among commitment, pro-relationship behavior, and trust is tested and it is revealed that self-reported attachment style does not account for substantial variance beyond the features of interDependence that form the basis for the present model.
Avoidance of Intimacy: An Attachment Perspective
A basic principle of attachment theory is that early attachment relationships with caregivers provide the prototype for later social relations. Working within an attachment framework, a new 4-group
Self-esteem : the puzzle of low self-regard
Foundations: Who Am I? J.D. Campbell, L.F. Lavallee. Low Self-Esteem S.J. Spencer, et al. The Social Motivations of People with Low Self-Esteem D.M. Tice. Self-Esteem and Self-Serving Biases in