People may seem to be all about logic and rationality when it comes to deciding about relationships. However, a recent study may indicate that your gut instinct may have a role in telling you if you will have a happy relationship. At least that is what the researchers at Florida State University in Tallahassee are trying to say.
Ever had that funny feeling in your gut just prior to getting married? You might associate it with nervousness. But it can also tell you something else. According to the said research, you can determine if you will have a happy relationship based on your gut reaction.
In order to test this out, researchers followed 135 heterosexual couples who were married for less than six months. The researchers then monitored the couples every six months for a period of four years. The experiment included a test where the participants were shown a third of a second flash of a photo of their partner. It was then followed by another image flash of a positive or a negative word. The participants were then asked to associate a positive or negative word provided with the picture. The said test is similar to what researchers use to determine whether people may harbor certain prejudices that they may not even be aware of.
Participants whose gut instincts about their partner were truly positive were quicker to connect the positive words to the photos. On the other hand, they were more tentative to associate negative words to them. The opposite was true for participants who had negative instincts about their partners.
Based on these results, the researchers then monitored the progress of the relationships of the participants for a period of four years. What the researchers found out is that those who have negative gut reactions about their spouses were more likely to get divorced four years later. According to Jim McNulty a psychology professor at Florida State University in Tallahassee and lead author of the study, “It’s not a perfect association.” But it highlights the importance of listening to your gut instinct when weighing in on relationships.
“Our desire can lead us to evaluate (relationships) more positively than maybe our gut or automatic results would say we should. Our automatic thoughts can have real implications,” McNulty further added.
Source: USA Today