Amy Muise

Amy Muise
York University · Department of Psychology

University of Guelph

About

117
Publications
153,942
Reads
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3,774
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2011 - present
University of Toronto
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 2007 - August 2011
University of Guelph
September 2000 - April 2004
The University of Western Ontario

Publications

Publications (117)
Article
There is a longstanding belief in relationship science and popular opinion that women are the barometers in mixed-gender relationships such that their perceptions about the partnership carry more weight than men’s in predicting future relationship satisfaction, but this idea has yet to be rigorously tested. We analyze data from two studies to test...
Article
Full-text available
Background The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced or amplified stress and challenge within couples’ relationships. Among those who are particularly vulnerable to heightened conflict and lower relationship satisfaction during this time are interparental couples with young children, whose relationships may have already been tenuous prior to the pandemi...
Article
Grudges are a common response to an interpersonal transgression that have received limited empirical attention. In the current research, we developed a self‐report measure of holding a grudge—the grudge aspect measure. The items were based on key findings from van Monsjou et al.'s (2021) thematic analysis: the six underlying components of holding a...
Article
Decades of research from across the globe highlight unequal and unfair division of household labor as a key factor that leads to relationship distress and demise. But does it have to? Testing a priori predictions across three samples of individuals cohabiting with a romantic partner during the COVID-19 pandemic ( N = 2,193, including 476 couples),...
Article
Choosing who to pursue as a romantic partner can have wide-reaching consequences. Attachment anxiety (i.e., need for reassurance) and avoidance (i.e., comfort with closeness) are associated with relationship quality and maintenance, but do people accurately perceive a date’s attachment style and are these perceptions associated with dating interest...
Article
Full-text available
External stressors can erode relationship quality, though little is known about what can mitigate these effects. We examined whether COVID-related stressors were associated with lower relationship quality, and whether perceived partner responsiveness—the extent to which people believe their partner understands, validates, and cares for them—buffers...
Article
Although engaging in exciting, shared activities with a partner is one strategy for warding off relational boredom , people might be less likely to pursue these activities when they are bored, which could have implications for the maintenance of passion in romantic relationships. In the current study, we assessed couple members' (N = 122 couples) d...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual desire is associated with romantic relationship satisfaction and maintenance, yet desire for a partner often declines over time. Self-expansion (new experiences that facilitate growth) with a partner boosts desire, but how this occurs is not well-understood. Across three studies—a 21-day daily experience study, a one-month weekly experience...
Preprint
Full-text available
External stressors can erode relationship quality, though little is known about what can mitigate these effects. We examined whether COVID-related stressors were associated with lower relationship quality, and whether perceived partner responsiveness—the extent to which people believe their partner understands, validates, and cares for them—buffers...
Preprint
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting social distancing measures have caused widespread social and economic disruptions, resulting in spikes in unemployment and financial instability, along with drastic changes to people's ability to feel socially connected. Many of the changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic are risk factors for depressive...
Article
Full-text available
Sexuality is a key predictor of relationship satisfaction, but sexual desire and satisfaction can be difficult to maintain over time. Past research has investigated who might be more likely to experience higher (compared to lower) levels of desire and sexual satisfaction in their relationships. Certain aspects of personality, such as extraversion,...
Article
Full-text available
Romantic partners regularly sacrifice their own self-interest when partners' needs and preferences diverge. The present work examines the role of perceived partner responsiveness (PPR)-impressions that one's partner is understanding, caring, and validating-in positively shaping people's appraisals of their relational sacrifices. In Study 1, a prere...
Article
Full-text available
Intimate partners engage in sex for a variety of reasons, and their perceptions of each other’s sexual goals play an important role in intimate relationships. How accurate are these perceptions of a partner’s sexual goals and is accuracy associated with relationship quality and sexual satisfaction for the couple? To answer these questions, we condu...
Article
Full-text available
Ambivalent Sexism Theory (Glick & Fiske, 1996) has revolutionised understanding of sexism and generated a new way of examining sexist attitudes using the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI). One key goal in sexism research is to compare sexist attitudes across different groups, including people with different genders and sexual identities. Before doi...
Article
Romantic partners often regulate their emotions and affection to achieve certain goals, but research has yet to explore how partners regulate their expression of sexual desire during sex and its implications for couples’ well-being. In two multi-part dyadic diary studies of primarily mixed-gender couples in longer-term relationships residing in Nor...
Article
Satisfying relationships are central to health and well-being, yet the insecurities of anxiously attached people can detract from the quality of their romantic relationships. One factor associated with relationship quality is perceiving a partner as responsive to one's needs, and responsiveness to a partner's sexual needs might be a particularly po...
Article
Full-text available
Spending time with a romantic partner by going on dates is important for promoting closeness in established relationships; however, not all date nights are created equally, and some people might be more adept at planning dates that promote closeness. Drawing from the self-expansion model and relationship goals literature, we predicted that people h...
Article
People's beliefs about how to maintain sexual satisfaction have been associated with how they navigate sexual differences, but research has yet to explore the consequences of these beliefs for couples facing a distressing sexual issue. The current research extends past work on sexual growth beliefs (i.e., the view that sexual satisfaction requires...
Article
Full-text available
Intimate and sexual relationships provide opportunity for emotional and sexual fulfillment. In consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationships, needs are dispersed among multiple partners. Using Self-Determination Theory (SDT) and dyadic data from 56 CNM partnerships (112 individuals), we tested how sexual motives and need fulfillment were linked t...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the importance of sex for the maintenance of satisfying romantic relationships, our understanding of a person's sexual ideals-the traits and attributes a person desires in a sexual partner or experience-and what might buffer against lower satisfaction associated with unmet sexual ideals is limited. Across four studies including cross-sectio...
Article
Romantic passion represents one of the most fragile and elusive elements of relationship quality but one that is increasingly valued and tied to relationship and individual well-being. We provide the first examination of whether experiencing personal self-expansion-positive self-change and personal growth without a romantic partner-is a critical pr...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review The purpose of this review is to highlight the major advancements in our understanding of consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationships—or intimate relationships between three or more people who are non-exclusive sexually and/or emotionally. We aim to review key insights from research on the benefits (i.e., diversification of ne...
Preprint
Full-text available
Purpose of review: The purpose of this review is to highlight the major advancements in our understanding of consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationships-or intimate relationships between three or more people who are non-exclusive sexually and/or emotionally. We aim to review key insights from research on the benefits (i.e., diversification of n...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual need fulfillment in a relationship is associated with both partners' sexual and relationship quality. In the current research, we explored what underlies two approaches to sexual need fulfillment-sexual communal norms (i.e., being motivated to meet a partner's sexual needs) and sexual exchange norms (i.e., tracking and trading sexual benefit...
Article
Previous research has found that thinking about the presence of a partner in one’s life can, at least temporarily, increase relationship satisfaction. However, other studies have found that doing the opposite—thinking about the absence of a partner from one’s life (i.e., mentally subtracting a partner)—can boost relationship satisfaction. The curre...
Preprint
Sexuality is a key predictor of relationship satisfaction, but sexual desire and satisfaction can be difficult to maintain over time. Limited research informs who might be more likely to experience higher (compared to lower) levels of desire and sexual satisfaction in their relationships. Certain aspects of personality, such as extraversion, have b...
Article
Background: The experience of distressing low sexual interest/arousal-female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD)-is prevalent in women of all ages and is associated with poorer sexual, relationship, and psychological well-being than women without this difficulty. Women who are partnered are almost 5 times more likely to be distressed by low d...
Article
Background: Changes in sexual well-being are common for new mothers and their partners after the birth of a baby. However, most research has sampled mothers not couples, assessed only one aspect of sexual well-being, and has not included a control sample of couples. Aim: This study aimed to compare the sexual well-being (ie, sexual frequency, se...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the growing prevalence of intercultural romantic relationships—in which partners identify with different racial, national or religious backgrounds—people in intercultural relationships still face marginalization and disapproval from others. Relationship marginalization sends a message to couples that they do not belong together, and partner...
Article
Full-text available
A growing population of biculturals—who identify with at least two cultures—often frame switch, adapting their behavior to their shifting cultural contexts. We demonstrate that frame switching biculturals are perceived as inauthentic by majority Americans and consequently seen as less likable, trustworthy, warm, and competent compared to bicultural...
Article
Given the powerful implications of relationship quality for health and well-being, a central mission of relationship science is explaining why some romantic relationships thrive more than others. This large-scale project used machine learning (i.e., Random Forests) to 1) quantify the extent to which relationship quality is predictable and 2) identi...
Article
While sexual frequency and satisfaction are strong contributors to the quality and longevity of romantic relationships and overall well-being, mismatches in sexual desire between partners are common and have been linked with poorer satisfaction. Previous findings linking mismatches in desire with poorer relationship and sexual outcomes have typical...
Article
Consensual nonmonogamy (CNM) is an increasingly popular relationship option and a burgeoning topic within relationship science. However, retrospective designs have limited our ability to draw conclusions about the consequences of opening up a romantic relationship to other partners. In a longitudinal study, 233 individuals who were planning to enga...
Article
Maintaining sexual satisfaction is a critical, yet challenging, aspect of most romantic relationships. Although prior research has established that sexual communal strength (SCS)—i.e., the extent to which people are motivated to be responsive to their partner’s sexual needs—benefits romantic relationships, research has yet to identify factors that...
Article
Full-text available
When romantic partners sacrifice their own self-interest to benefit the relationship, the sacrificer or recipient may—for various reasons—be biased in how they perceive the costs that the sacrificer incurs. In Study 1, romantic couples ( N = 125) rated their own and their partner’s costs after a conversation about a sacrifice in the laboratory, fol...
Article
Self-expansion in intimate relationships (i.e., broadening one’s perspective through engaging in novel, exciting activities with a partner) has been associated with relationship benefits. The goal of this study was to propose a motivational model of self-expansion to understand what prompts people to engage in self-expanding activities in their rel...
Article
Full-text available
Romantic partners provide both erotic and nurturing experiences, though these may emerge more strongly in different phases of a relationship. Unlike individuals in monogamous relationships, those in polyamorous relationships can pursue multiple romantic relationships simultaneously, potentially allowing them to experience higher levels of eroticism...
Article
Romantic relationships help people meet needs for connection and emotional and sexual fulfillment. In the current research, we investigate an unexplored response to feeling sexually and relationally unfulfilled: reflecting on positive sexual experiences with past partners (or sexual nostalgia). Across three studies, people low in attachment avoidan...
Article
In most long-term romantic relationships, partners experience sexual conflicts of interest in which one partner declines the other partner's sexual advances. We investigated the distinct ways people reject a partner's advances (i.e., with reassuring, hostile, assertive, and deflecting behaviors) in Studies 1 and 2. Using cross-sectional (Study 3) a...
Article
Sex is a crucial factor that impacts the quality and stability of relationships, yet many couples report recurrent sexual issues – such as discrepancies in their desired sexual frequency or levels of sexual desire – that detract from their relationship quality. This article describes how applying the theory of communal motivation from relationship...
Preprint
Consensual non-monogamy (CNM) is an increasingly popular relationship option, and a burgeoning topic within relationship science. However, retrospective designs have limited our ability to draw conclusions about the consequences of opening up a romantic relationship to other partners. In a longitudinal study, 233 individuals who were planning to en...
Poster
Intercultural romantic relationships are on the rise; however, intercultural marriages remain uncommon. This may be because intercultural relationships face unique challenges that put them at risk for lower levels of satisfaction and greater conflict. Previous literature suggests that relationship quality within relationships is often related to le...
Article
Full-text available
Female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD) is associated with psychological, relational, and sexual consequences for affected women, and their romantic partners also suffer repercussions. Prior research suggests that women with FSIAD report more difficulties with emotion regulation than controls. Yet, whether emotion regulation is associated w...
Article
Regular positive sexual interactions are one reason why relationships have health and well-being benefits, yet low sexual desire is among the most common sexual problems reported by women. One interpersonal factor that has been associated with greater sexual desire and satisfaction in community couples is self-expansion (i.e., expanding one’s sense...
Article
Full-text available
Women coping with female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD) report lower sexual and relationship satisfaction compared to healthy controls. In community samples, high sexual communal strength (i.e., the motivation to meet a partner's sexual needs) is associated with higher sexual desire and satisfaction, but high unmitigated sexual communion...
Article
Communication during sexual rejection is an impactful yet understudied aspect of romantic relationships. The primary goal of this research was to develop and validate the Responses to Sexual Rejection Scale (RSRS), a novel measure capturing the ways individuals in romantic relationships respond to sexual rejection from their partner. Exploratory fa...
Article
Tinder, the mobile dating app, is widely used for meeting potential dating partners, but little research has investigated the dating experiences of users. In two studies, we applied the approach-avoidance theory of social motivation to understand the association between people’s goals for Tinder use and their perceived and actual dating success. In...
Article
A lack of interest in sex is a common sexual issue, especially among women, and can be associated with lower relationship satisfaction and greater psychological distress. Research on sexual motivation has demonstrated that in both community and clinical samples, people higher in sexual communal strength (motivated to meet their partner’s sexual nee...
Preprint
Full-text available
Romantic partners provide both erotic and nurturing experiences, though these may emerge more strongly in different phases of a relationship. Unlike individuals in monogamous relationships, those in polyamorous relationships can pursue multiple romantic relationships simultaneously, potentially allowing them to experience higher levels of eroticism...
Article
Introduction: Women diagnosed with female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD) report lower health-related quality of life, more depressive symptoms, and lower sexual and relationship satisfaction compared with healthy control subjects. Despite the impact of FSIAD on women's sexuality and the inherently interpersonal nature of the sexual probl...
Poster
In the current study, we applied approach-avoidance theory of social motivation to understand the association between people’s goals for Tinder use and their perceived and actual dating success, and the role of anxiety while using Tinder.
Article
In the early stages of romantic relationships, sexual desire is often intense, but over time, as partners get to know each other, desire tends to decline. Low sexual desire has negative implications for relationship satisfaction and maintenance. Self-expansion theory suggests that engaging in novel activities with a long-term romantic partner can r...
Article
A common reason why people in ongoing romantic relationships report engaging in sex with their partner—in addition to pursuing their own pleasure—is to meet their partner’s sexual needs. While meeting a partner’s needs with responsiveness and care is crucial in romantic relationships, it is important, especially in the domain of sexuality, that peo...
Article
Consensually nonmonogamous (CNM) relationships allow individuals to fulfill their sexual needs with multiple partners, but research has yet to investigate how having one’s sexual needs met in one relationship is associated with satisfaction in another relationship. We draw on models of need fulfillment in CNM relationships and theories of sexual co...
Article
Full-text available
Romantic partners often have differing levels of sexual interest. In these situations, lower desire partners may engage in sex for avoidance goals (e.g., to avoid disappointing their partner), which are associated with negative relational outcomes. An alternative strategy to sustain relationship quality may be to decline a partner’s sexual advances...
Article
Full-text available
Although gratitude plays a central role in the quality of relationships, little is known about how gratitude emerges, such as in response to partners' sacrifices. Do people need to accurately see these acts to feel grateful? In two daily experience studies of romantic couples (total N = 426), we used a quasi-signal detection paradigm to examine the...
Method
Full-text available
This supplemental materials on predictors of sacrifice detection is supplemental to our article "To "see" is to feel grateful? A quasi-signal detection analysis of romantic partners' sacrifices", published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2018.
Article
Objective: To examine the role of a novel motivational perspective-sexual communal motivation-in women's pain during intercourse and both partners' distress in couples coping with vulvodynia, a prevalent gynecological pain condition. Our goal was to test whether sexual communal strength (i.e., motivation to meet a partner's sexual needs) and unmit...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual and relationship satisfaction tend to be closely linked in the context of romantic relationships. Understanding how sexual processes influence relationships and how aspects of the relationship influence a couple’s sex life can provide insight into the maintenance of sexual desire and satisfaction over time. In this article, we review how the...
Article
Background Vulvodynia is an idiopathic vulvovaginal pain condition that has significant sexual and relational consequences. Most women with vulvodynia continue to have intercourse, possibly because of a desire to approach positive outcomes (e.g., intimacy) and avoid negative outcomes (e.g., partner disappointment). Purpose This study examined dail...
Article
The motivation to care for the welfare of others, or communal motivation, is a crucial component of satisfying interpersonal relationships and personal well-being. The current meta-analysis synthesized 100 studies (Ntotal = 26,645) on communal motivation to establish its associations with subjective personal well-being (e.g., life satisfaction, pos...
Article
Full-text available
Situations in which one partner is interested in having sex but the other partner is not “in the mood” are common in relationships. We extend previous work on sexual communal strength—the motivation to be responsive to a partner’s sexual needs—to demonstrate that in addition to the motivation to meet a partner’s need to have sex, the motivation to...
Article
Background: Provoked vestibulodynia (PVD) is a prevalent form of vulvodynia that interferes with the sexual and relational functioning of affected couples. Approach and avoidance sexual goals are associated with the sexual and relationship well-being of women with PVD and their partners. However, whether sexual goals differ in couples coping with...
Article
Many new parents are concerned that they have different levels of interest in sex than their partner. Understanding the role of desire discrepancies in their sexual and relationship satisfaction could help promote adjustment. In community couples, larger desire discrepancies have been inconsistently linked to lower sexual and relationship satisfact...
Article
Objective: Most women with vulvodynia-a prevalent, chronic, vulvovaginal pain condition-engage in intercourse with their partners despite experiencing pain. Their motivation for doing so appears to be interpersonally oriented (e.g., to meet their partners' sexual needs), but the costs and benefits of such motivations are unknown. We tested whether...
Article
Are people who are high in sexual narcissism more sensitive to information comparing their sex lives with the sex lives of others? Does this sensitivity explain narcissists’ lower sexual and relationship satisfaction? We conducted three studies to address this question. Participants completed the Sexual Narcissism Scale (Widman & McNulty, 2010), an...
Article
Satisfying sexual encounters are important for the quality of couples’ relationships, but maintaining sexual desire and connection over time in a relationship is challenging. Theory and research on sexual motivation can inform when sex is associated with benefits in relationships and when it detracts from satisfaction, as well as who is more likely...
Article
Full-text available
Positive interpersonal interactions such as affection are central to well-being. Sex is associated with greater individual wellbeing, but little is known about why this occurs. We predicted that experienced affection would account for the association between sex and well-being. Cross-sectional results indicated that affection mediated the associati...
Article
One important but challenging aspect of maintaining a satisfying romantic relationship is keeping the sexual spark alive. Research suggests the importance of a couple's sexual connection in the maintenance of their relationship, but sustaining high levels of desire for a partner over the course of time can be difficult. In the current review, we ar...
Article
Becoming a new parent is typically a time of great joy, yet it is also marked by significant declines in sexual and relationship functioning. Dyadic empathy, a combination of perspective-taking and empathic concern for one's romantic partner, may facilitate sexual and relationship quality for new parents. The purpose of this study was to examine th...