Reading Others’ Emotions: The Role of Intuitive Judgments in Predicting Marital Satisfaction, Quality, and Stability

Citation:

Waldinger, R. J., Hauser, S. T., Schulz, M. S., Allen, J. P., & Crowell, J. A. (2004). Reading Others’ Emotions: The Role of Intuitive Judgments in Predicting Marital Satisfaction, Quality, and Stability. Journal of Family Psychology , 18 (1), 58-71.

Abstract:

This study examined links between emotion expression in couple interactions and marital quality and stability. Core aspects of emotion expression in marital interactions were identified with the use of naïve observational coding by multiple raters. Judges rated 47 marital discussions with 15 emotion descriptors. Coders’ pooled ratings yielded good reliability on 4 types of emotion expression: hostility, distress, empathy, and affection. These 4 types were linked with concurrent marital satisfaction and interviewer ratings of marital adjustment as well as with marital stability at a 5-year follow-up. The study also examined the extent to which naïve judges’ ratings of emotion expression correspond to “expert” ratings using the Specific Affect Coding System (SPAFF). The unique advantages of naïve coding of emotion expression in marital interaction are discussed.

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