In Study 1 (n = 407), Dutch adults perceived their relationship on average as better than that of most others, and a majority assumed that at least half of the people with an intimate relationship are happy with this relationship. Both perceptions were more pronounced among those with a happy relationship. In Study 2 these findings were replicated in a sample representative of the Dutch adult population (n = 1,281) and were found to be largely independent of the order in which the questions were presented. Study 3 (n = 101) showed that perceived superiority was even more pronounced when the comparison group was the ''typical average adult'' rather than ''most others.'' Study 4 (n = 50) showed that perceived superiority also existed when one's own relationship and the relationship of the typical average adult were rated separately.
- UNREALISTIC OPTIMISM