Scientists Figured Out A Simple Method That Can Save A Struggling Marriage

Posted: Jun 21 2017, 7:18pm CDT | by , Updated: Jun 21 2017, 7:45pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Scientists Figured out a Simple Trick that can Save a Struggling Marriage
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Looking at pictures of cute animals can help a marriage maintain its spark, study says

Every relationship has ups and downs and marriage is no exception to that. However, just as every relationship is different, the recipe of fixing them cannot be the same. Now, researchers have developed a new, unconventional way for keeping a marriage happy and intact.

Researchers believe that cute animal pictures can bring spark back to a relationship. Looking at the images cute animals like puppies and bunnies can help save your marriage.

The technique is basically a kind of distraction. Previous researches have shown that, in many instances, relation does not remain stable even when day-to-day behavior stays the same. Based on this information, researchers hypothesize that an intervention focused on changing someone's thoughts about their spouse might improve a relationship quality.

“One ultimate source of our feelings about our relationships can be reduced to how we associate our partners with positive effect, and those associations can come from our partners but also from unrelated things, like puppies and bunnies.” Lead researcher James McNulty from Florida State University explained.

To test this, researchers included 144 married couples and divided them into two groups. All participants involved in the study were under 40 years of age and married for less than 5 years. On average, they were around 28 years old and almost 40% of them had children.

Each spouse was shown a stream of images every three days that repeatedly paired their partner's image with that of a positive image of any cute animal. Researchers used these pictures to elicit positive feelings in the partners. On the other hand, those in the control group saw their partner's face embedded in neutral images, such as a shirt button.

Every 2 weeks for 8 weeks, couples' attitude toward each other was measured by the positive and negative words used while reviewing a series of faces, of which their partner was included. Researchers found that people who were shown photos of puppies and bunnies alongside their partner’s face displayed more positive automatic reactions towards their partner compared to those in control group.

“I was actually a little surprised that it worked,” said McNulty. “All the theory I reviewed on evaluative conditioning suggested it should, but existing theories of relationships, and just the idea that something so simple and unrelated to marriage could affect how people feel about their marriage, made me skeptical.”

In the study, researchers are not denying the importance of behavior in a relationship. But they believe that positive interactions can also play a vital role in forming associations between partners.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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