Responsiveness processes and daily experiences of shared reality among romantic couples

Yael Bar-Shachar, Eran Bar-Kalifa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Shared reality (SR) is the experience of having an inner state believed to be shared by others. Dyadic responsiveness has been suggested to be a critical process in SR construction. The present study tested the extent to which SR varies in the daily lives of romantic partners and whether this variability is related to responsiveness processes. We predicted that disclosure of personal events to one’s partner as well as perceived partner enacted responsiveness would be associated with daily levels of SR. We further predicted that these associations would be more pronounced when one has low epistemic certainty with respect to the disclosed event. To test these hypotheses, daily diaries were collected from 76 cohabiting romantic couples for a period of 4 weeks. Participants reported the occurrence of daily personal positive and negative events, indicated whether they had disclosed these events to their partner, and described how their partner had responded. As predicted, the disclosure of positive and negative events, as well as the perceptions of partners’ constructive responses to these disclosures, were positively associated with daily SR. A significant interaction was found between epistemic uncertainty (i.e., low perceived social consensus) and responsiveness processes in the context of negative (but not positive) events; specifically, when participants experienced low certainty, the disclosure of the event and the perceived partner’s constructive response were more strongly associated with SR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3156-3176
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant 690/19) awarded to the last author.

FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation690/19


    • Daily Dairies
    • Disclosure
    • Responsiveness
    • Romantic Relationships
    • Shared Reality


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