In marital relationships, the type of perception of the spouse’s behavior affects how the social information and behavior of the other couple is processed, leading to psychological consequences. Thus, a higher perception of each other’s mental state is followed by sincerity and more satisfaction with the relations. The present study was performed by using a descriptive phenomenological qualitative approach with the aim of investigating emotional theory of mind in 19 married Iranian women who were selected by purposive sampling in 2017. In order to coding data, MAXQDA 2018 software and the Colaizzi’s method were used for coding and analyzing the data, respectively. Finally, about three concepts including the emotion type, emotion expression and emotion regulation were extracted from the interviews. Results showed in emotion type, women remarked positive emotions of satisfaction and gratitude and negative emotions of sorrow and sadness only about themselves. Although emotion expression was possible through three ways but in women's view point, men did not react to positive emotion non-verbally. In the third category, coping with negative emotions in the form of going into retreat was raised merely about men and emotion discharge and forgetfulness merely about women. The findings of the present study, a qualitative examination of emotions of the two genders from the viewpoint of women, is to a great extent in line with previous self-report and quantitative studies; they can be applied for Iran and other countries with similar culture and structure.


Theory of Mind, Emotion, Women, Phenomenology, Qualitative Study

Author Bio(s)

Abbas Rahmati is an associate professor in the department of Psychology at Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran. He is also the head of the University of Shahid Bahonar Counseling Center. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses and has published in a number of books and international peer-reviewed journals. His research and therapy interest focuses on family counseling.

Maryam Poormirzaei is a PhD student in the department of Psychology at Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran. She also helps in research projects and guides graduate and under graduate students. She has published in a number of peer-reviewed journals as well. Her research interest is the theory of mind. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: academicemail2017@gmail.com

Masoud Bagheri is an associate professor in the department of Psychology at Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran. He has a PhD, and lectures graduate and undergraduate students and has several published books as well as papers in international peer-reviewed journals. His area of research includes personality and is a psychoanalytic therapist.


The authors are very grateful to the women who participated in this study.

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