Accuracy and bias in perceptions of conflict style among same-sex and heterosexual couples

Robert E. Wickham, Charlotte L. Beard, Ellen D.B. Riggle, Esther D. Rothblum, Sharon S. Rostosky, Kimberly F. Balsam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Intimates form stable impressions of their romantic partner's conflict style, which may influence interactions during conflicts and shape expectancies regarding future disagreements. Despite a large body of work comparing relationship outcomes among heterosexual and same-sex couples, research has yet to examine how the validity of these perceptions vary as a function of gender and sexual orientation. The present study examines perceptual accuracy and bias in perceptions of conflict style among same-sex female (Ndyads = 215), same-sex male (Ndyads = 113), and heterosexual (Ndyads = 93) couples. Although members of same-sex and heterosexual couples exhibited some similarity in accuracy and bias in perceptions, a number of compelling differences suggest that the gender and the sexual orientation of a couple shape perceptions of partner conflict style.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Author Note: Funding for this research was provided by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development R01HD069370 (Kimberly Balsam, PI), as well as a grant from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (State of California) 24RT-0027 (Ricardo Munoz, PI; Robert Wickham, Co-I).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.


  • Accuracy
  • Assumed similarity
  • Conflict resolution
  • Interpersonal perception
  • Projection
  • Same-sex couples
  • Same-sex relationships
  • Truth and bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology (all)


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