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Study points to the emotional intelligence of happy couples

New York Magazine has reported on an unusual study about marital happiness conducted by University of Toronto researchers.

Researchers studied the brain activity of long-married women, with an average age of 72, while they watched videos of their husbands recalling emotional memories. But there was a catch: The videos were deliberately mislabeled, so the husbands were said to be recalling a sad memory while visibly laughing, and vice-versa.

The results showed that the women's mental activity spiked when their husbands seemed inexplicably happy - but not when they were inexplicably sad (or at least no more than they did when watching similar videos of strangers). The study points towards the emotional sensitivities that lead to lasting marriages. As the article notes, "this neatly complements other past research showing, for example, that people who are unable to differentiate their partners’ emotions from their own (they assume they’re the same), tend to be viewed by their partners as more controlling and smothering."
Read the whole story here
Source: New York Magazine
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