By Alexander Kirchner-Häusler and Batja Mesquita
From the blog Character & Context by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology
In a widely publicized study, John Gottman, an American relationship researcher and counselor, observed that happier couples showed far more positive than negative emotions during conflict discussions. In their interactions, the couples who were still together many years later all had something in common: They balanced each episode of negative emotions during their encounter with around 5 times the number of positive emotions. This pattern was so remarkably consistent that Gottman and other researchers have called this high ratio of positive to negative emotions “the magic ratio.”
But how universal is this “magic” across the world? That is what we wanted to know in our study.