Positive marital illusions and culture: American and Turkish spouses' perceptions of their marriages

Fowers B. J., Fisiloglu H., Procacci E. K.

JOURNAL OF SOCIAL AND PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, vol.25, no.2, pp.267-285, 2008 (SSCI) identifier identifier


This study investigated the degree to which positive illusions about one's spouse and marriage are a universal feature of human cognitions about marriage or are culturally moderated. Positive marital illusions were compared across three samples (49 American spouses, 58 Turkish spouses in nonconsanguineous marriages, and 56 Turkish spouses in consanguineous marriages). Positive illusions were assessed by comparing positive and negative trait ratings of the spouse and the generalized other. The positive trait ratings were consistent with the cultural moderation hypothesis and inconsistent with the universal account. The three groups differed in how positively they rated the generalized other. The negative trait ratings supported the universal theory of positive illusions. These results add to the growing evidence that culture moderates positive illusions.