Using a video-review procedure, multiple perceivers carried out mind-reading tasks of multiple targets at different levels of acquaintanceship (50 dating couples, friends of the dating partners, and strangers). As predicted, the authors found that mind-reading accuracy was (a) higher as a function of increased acquaintanceship, (b) relatively unaffected by target effects, (c) influenced by individual differences in perceivers' ability, and (d) higher for female than male perceivers. In addition, superior mind-reading accuracy (for dating couples and friends) was related to higher relationship satisfaction, closeness, and more prior disclosure about the problems discussed, but only under moderating conditions related to sex and relationship length. The authors conclude that the nature of the relationship between the perceiver and the target occupies a pivotal role in determining mind-reading accuracy.
Thomas, G., & Fletcher, G. J. O. (2003). Mind-Reading Accuracy in Intimate Relationships: Assessing the Roles of the Relationship, the Target, and the Judge. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(6), 1079-1094. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1249