Newlyweds can have conflicting gut feelings about mates
Whether newlyweds have positive or negative gut feelings about their spouses may help predict long-term marital satisfaction, according to a new study.
In the study, published in the journal Science, psychologists showed 270 individuals who had gotten married in the last six months photos of their spouses--but very quickly--followed by a series of positive and negative words, such as “delightful” or “disgusting.” Each participant then pushed a button to indicate whether the word was good or bad—researchers called these responses an automatic attitude, which is an unfiltered response that can sometimes conflict with conscious thoughts. Newlyweds then filled out questionnaires about their marital satisfaction.
Researchers continued this process at six-month intervals over four years. The findings showed that the more time that passed, the more the participants’ initial automatic attitudes started to match up with their self-reported marital satisfaction.
However, it is still difficult to explain the correlation between gut feelings as newlyweds and longer-term marital satisfaction from this specific study, researchers said.