Do you experience a secret, festering resentment at the mere sight of your spouse, but feel like you should keep it under wraps? After all, it'll probably get better with time, right? Nope, sorry. Science shows that your gut reactions are probably right.
A new study published in Science suggests that newlyweds’ unacknowledged gut instincts about their spouses are effective predictors of marital satisfaction in years to come. The Washington Post explains that researchers at Florida State University had 135 heterosexual couples married for fewer than six months fill out a questionnaire about marital satisfaction. Predictably, their conscious responses were initially optimistic, yet their “automatic attitude” toward their partners was often less rosy.
To test newlyweds’ gut instincts toward their spouses, scientists flashed photos of their partners followed by an adjective like “awesome,” “terrific,” or “awful.” Participants were asked to indicate on a keyboard whether the word was positive or negative. Because seeing a photo quickly causes the brain to automatically retrieve any associations to the image, scientists believe that the speed of response indicates a person’s automatic attitude; people with positive feelings toward their spouse are quicker to identify positive adjectives, and slower when identifying negative ones. Though these knee-jerk reactions often opposed the couples’ initial conscious thoughts about their partners, researchers found that as time passed, couples’ reported marital happiness tended to match their initial automatic attitudes.
Fortunately, the latest developments in the world of dating apps make it easier than ever to follow your gut.
Most Viewed Stories
American Apparel Files for Bankruptcy
The Big Secret of Every Dating App: Tech Doesn’t Matter
‘Truly Ugly Guy With Glasses’ Is Europe’s Most Virile Man
Ellie Kemper Thinks Kimmy Schmidt Would Fit in Well in Greenpoint
Céline’s Woman-Friendly Triumph
It’s Harder to Be Thin Than It Was in the ’80s
Guess What? Americans Love Planned Parenthood
Why Do I Jerk Awake Right As I’m Falling Asleep?
Witness a Photographer’s Affair With Los Angeles
Sigourney Weaver on Talking to Ronald Reagan About Abortion Rights
From Our Partners
Thrillist: Things No Self-Respecting Adult Should Be Doing on Facebook
My Daughter Has Cerebral Palsyand I Refuse to Sugarcoat How Hard It Is
The Zoe Report
Why I Quit Shopping At Zara
5 Must-Have Products for Your Makeup Bag
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Love and War FeaturesAll the Ceilings Women Keep Hitting Their Heads On
There's a Rob-shaped hole on the new Cosmo cover.Queen Ronda Rousey Is the First Woman to Cover Aussie Men’s Fitness
She's flexin' down under.Astrology GIFs for the Week of October 5, 2015
This week's horoscopes.The Big Secret of Every Dating App: Tech Doesn’t Matter
Just like at bars, it's the crowd that counts.
He didn’t want to chat.8 Actually Good Things That Happened This Week
Baby sea turtles wearing bathing suits and a necklace for your pizza.Selfie Sorority Uses Media Frenzy for Good Cause
Take that, sportscasters.A Comprehensive Taxonomy of Men With Long Hair
And why we like them anyway.Teens Are Dying From Train-Track Photo Shoots
The popular photo destination is actually super-dangerous.
Ed Houben has fathered 106 children — that he knows of.The Internet of Parents Is Miserable and I Love It
Why it's so hard to look away.Did the ‘Maxipad Bandit’ Really Think He’d Escape?
Not so fast, mister.Woman Driven From Her Home by Death Threats After Starting Pro-Choice Hashtag
The hashtag drew intense scorn from anti-abortion activists.Ice-Cold Teens Don’t Hesitate to Block Their Exes
"I’m just like this is irrelevant now.”Let Sorority Girls Instagram Themselves in Peace
Come on, man.Are Newsletters the Internet’s New Safe Space for Women?
Whether you're Lena Dunham or an emerging writer, the format has an appealing intimacy.The Bennifer Years Affected Matt Damon More Than Anyone Else
It's just really hard when your buddy breaks up with J.Lo, you know?Someone Used Gasoline to Set a Los Angeles–Area Planned Parenthood on Fire
Police believe gasoline was used as an accelerant to burn down the Thousand Oaks facility.Michelle Obama: No Boy Is Cute Enough to Keep You From Getting an Education
"Compete with the boys. Beat the boys."