Merging or differentiation? Is there an optimum closeness for perspective-taking in love-relationships?
This article explores two questions. (1) Is perspective-taking associated with an optimum closeness? (2) How are satisfaction and perspective-taking related when a behavioral measure of perspective-taking is used? Two studies, correlational in nature, were conducted in Germany. The studies included 99 students (Study 1) and 31 couples (Study 2); different behavioral operationalizations of perspective-taking were used. The results show that (1) there was an optimum level of closeness for perspective-taking, and (2) satisfaction was not necessarily correlated with perspective-taking. The satisfaction-discrepancy between partners was more crucial: the more one's own satisfaction exceeds the partner's satisfaction, the better the perspective-taking performance. Generally, the present research would suggest that the partner's perspective was approximated when there was a kind of special ambiguity.
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