Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Real Reason You’re Unlucky in Love, According to Science

When figuring out whether a new relationship will work, people tend to focus on a potential partner’s negative traits—even if he or she actually has many positive qualities, according to researched published late last year in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin but making the rounds now. In fact, just one or two negative qualities can be enough justification to stop seeing that person.

“We have a general tendency to attend more closely to negative information than we do to positive information,” Gregory Webster, one of the study’s authors and an associate professor of psychology at the University of Florida, said in a statement released Monday.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Florida, Western Sydney University, Indiana University, Singapore Management University, and Rutgers University, examined information from six independent studies to determine the top relationship deal breakers and the effect they have on the formation of romantic relationships.

The top deal breakers, in no particular order, were unattractiveness, unhealthy lifestyle, undesirable personality traits, differing religious beliefs, limited social status, differing mating strategies, and differing relationship goals.

Interestingly, the findings show that women and people in committed relationships are generally more sensitive to deal breakers than other segments of the population. Friendships, on the other hand, are not as strongly affected by negative traits. But some deal breakers, like dishonesty, are universally avoided.

“Things that can harm are generally more important [to pay attention to] than things that can help you,” Webster said. But it’s important to note that what’s considered a deal breaker for some may be a deal maker for others. For example, some individuals may be attracted to an impulsive person—others will prefer someone more predictable.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Amazing Side Effects Of Being in Love

Being in love can influence a lot of things in your life.
And apparently, it could have a pretty neat effect on your personality, too. Being in a relationship could help people who are typically more neurotic become more confident and see the world more positively, according to a new study published in the Journal of Personality.

Neuroticism is one of the "Big Five" traits that psychologists use to describe a person's personality. Someone who ranks high in the trait often feels anxious, hostile, or sad, says study author Christine Finn, Ph.D., of Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena. Everyone falls somewhere on the neuroticism continuum, she says.
In the current study, researchers examined 245 couples four times over the course of nine months. The participants, all ages 18 to 30, answered questions about their current relationship and questions to gauge their level of neuroticism.

They were also asked about hypothetical relationship situations, which were meant to gauge if the person had a tendency to interpret ambiguous situations negatively—something that neurotic people tend to do. For example, one question asked participants what they would think if their partner hadn't said "I love you" in a while and made note of how they reacted.

Get this: Levels of neuroticism decreased in participants over the course of nine months. And even though they only decreased a small amount overall, that's because personality traits are pretty stable, and nine months doesn't allow too much time for change, says Finn. Interestingly, some of the people showed larger drops in neuroticism than others, and these people also became less likely to turn ambiguous scenarios into negative ones. Basically, people in relationships were starting to mellow out a bit.

"We found out that being in a relationship may change the way with which neurotic persons perceive the world," says Finn. "That is, when looking through their glasses, the world has become brighter and more positive. And this more positive thinking helps them to overcome their negative feelings and to mature in their personality."

Also neat: Even people who don't rate high for neuroticism can reap some of these benefits from a relationship. "Someone who is already self-confident and feels positive even in stressful situations may become even more positive," says Finn. "One may say that people in general benefit from a relationship but that neurotic persons benefit the most."