Reconsidering "Best Practices" for Testing the Ideal Standards Model: A Response to Eastwick, Finkel, and Simpson (2018)

Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2020 Mar 11;146167220910323. doi: 10.1177/0146167220910323. Online ahead of print.


Eastwick, Finkel, and Simpson (2018) advanced recommendations for "best practices" in testing the predictive validity of individual differences in the extent to which perceptions of partners match ideal standards (ideal-partner matching). We respond to their article evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of different tests, presenting new analyses of existing data, and setting out conclusions that differ from Eastwick et al. We (a) argue that correlations between ideal standards for attributes in partners and corresponding partner perceptions are relevant to the ideal standards model (ISM), (b) show that important methodological and statistical issues qualify their interpretations of prior research, (c) illustrate a new analytic approach used in the accuracy literature that tests (and controls for) confounds highlighted by Eastwick et al., and (d) provide evidence that the direct-estimation measure of ideal-partner matching is a valid and useful method. We conclude with a cautionary note on the concept of best practices.

Keywords: best practices; ideal standards model.