Now, a mathematical model to tell if true love will last

March 26th, 2009 - 2:47 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar 26 (ANI): Couples wondering if their true love is heading for a lifetime of happiness have been provided with a mathematical test to find out if they are a match made in heaven.

Although, people say there’s no simple formula for a long-lasting relationship, boffins claim to have come up with a mathematical model which determines whether or not a relationship will succeed.

The calculations of Professor James Murray, a maths expert at Oxford University, were based on a 15-minute conversation between a couple.

In the study, the participants were asked to sit opposite each other and asked to talk about a contentious issue.

Each pair was told to talk about the same topic - one which they have been at loggerheads for some time - for 15 minutes.

The research team recorded the conversation and awarded the husband and wife positive or negative points depending on what was said.

The partner who showed affection, humour or happiness as they talked was given the maximum points, while those who displayed contempt or belligerence received the minimum.

From the analyses, Prof Murray, a Fellow of The Royal Society, said contempt was deemed more destructive than disgust, sadness or anger.

He said the scores of the wife and the husband were fed into the mathematical model and plotted onto a graph. The point at which the two lines meet illustrated the marriage’s chances of success or failure.

“I am still absolutely amazed that human emotions can be put into a mathematical model and that a prediction can be made,” The Telegraph quoted him, as saying.

“What astonished me was that a discussion, sometimes highly charged and emotional, could so easily and usefully be encapsulated in what is actually a simple model of a couple’s interaction.

“It is not so much of an equation, it is trying to assess and quantify how a couple interact by giving them a scoring system.

“We take those figures and plot them on to a graph. If either the husband or the wife is consistently negative then they are going to get a divorce,” he added.

According to Murray, married couples could be divided into five groups.

“Marriages can be classified into only five general types, some of which are stable and others not. Depending on the group, some couples might as well get divorced right away,” he said.

The first category is the “validating” couple who are calm, intimate, who like to back each other up and share a companionable relationship. The second group are the “avoiders” couple who do their best to eschew confrontation and conflict.

The “volatile” couple, who are romantic and passionate but have heated arguments are a mix of stable and unstable, but generally tend to be more unhappy than not. The “hostile” category is when one partner does not want to talk about an issue and the other agrees, so there is no communication.

The “hostile-detached” couple is where one is fiery and wanting to argue, while the other one is just not interested in discussing the issue. (ANI)

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