issues and experts
The latest on love—SFU experts on Valentine’s Day
HINDSIGHT BIAS CAN DERAIL HOW WE THINK OUR PARTNERS FEEL—STUDY
Reading a partner’s facial expressions may seem straightforward, but a new study finds we may be overestimating our ability to remember negative facial expressions, and hindsight bias —the ability to convince ourselves when looking back that we knew something all along—may be to blame. In a study published in Emotion and led by SFU psychology PhD student Megan Giroux, participants were tested on their ability to recognize facial expressions they had previously identified in a baseline phase where the photos were slowly brought into focus from blurry to clear.
While they accurately recalled the point at which they identified happiness in hindsight, they were more likely to exhibit hindsight bias with negative expressions such as disgust, anger, fear and surprise. “Hindsight bias can lead us to think we accurately understood another person’s emotional state when we did not,” says Giroux, noting that overcoming hindsight bias may help to develop the ability to read emotions and respond appropriately to people’s feelings in our social interactions and relationships.
MEGAN GIROUX| email@example.com
SEEING PARTNER THROUGH ROSE-COLOURED GLASSES NOT A LASTING FIX FOR INSECURITY
Exaggerating a partner’s understanding and empathy—with so-called positive illusions—may help build a long happy relationship. However, positive illusions may only be a short-term fix for couples with attachment insecurity, and in some cases may be detrimental in the long term, according to researchers with SFU’s Close Relationships Research Lab.In a study involving nearly 200 newlywed couples published last fall, psychology PhD student Richard Rigby and professor Rebecca Cobb investigated whether spouses’ positive illusions moderated the association between attachment insecurity and short-term marital satisfaction. They can elaborate on how positive illusions can impact relationship health.
REBECCA COBB, clinical psychologist, director, SFU Close Relationships Research Lab | firstname.lastname@example.org
RICHARD RIGBY, doctoral student, clinical psychology, SFU Close Relationships Research Lab | email@example.com
ADDITIONAL EXPERTS WHO CAN WEIGH IN ON RELATIONSHIPS:
LARA AKNIN, psychology, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Prosocial behaviour (including Valentine’s Day gift-giving), well-being, happiness and social relationships
YUTHIKA GIRME, psychology, email@example.com
How to build and maintain healthy relationships; well-being in singlehood (see her related research paper)
MELISSA SHAW, SFU Communications & Marketing
236.880.3297 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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