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How Can Sharing Cute Puppy Photos With Your Husband Will Strengthen Your Relationship

How to Improve your Relationship

From @climvetchapeco: "Muito amor entre irmãos! ??" #cutepetclub

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 Based upon a new study published in Psychological Science, when married couples looked at images of puppies, babies, and pizza (along with photos of their spouse) for six minutes every three days, they self-reported being happier in their marriages after six weeks.

Lead researcher James McNulty and his team aimed to study if couples could change their baseline feelings about their spouses through evaluative conditioning. “People’s gut-level feelings about their partners are very important,” McNulty told Time.

However, gut-level feelings can be difficult to capture, even more so, if it’s negative. “People are not inclined to admit that, because they want to believe they’re with the right partner,” McNulty said. “But our research was showing that if you can capture that gut-level feeling it seems to be an important predictor of relationships.”

Because we often learn what we like and dislike based on certain memories, our brain then associates that with positive or negative feelings. And turns out, the same thing is true for relationships.

“If you’re in a relationship and you have a lot of great experiences with your partner, you learn to associate your partner with those experiences and when you see their partner, you feel good,” McNulty said.

So, to test if couples can trick their minds into associating more positive thoughts with their spouse, researchers asked 144 married couples to look at a stream of images online every three days for six weeks. Participants were told to note when a “romantic” photo of a wedding or a couple came up.

Oh hey lil pupper // ?  @jackson_thebully you are just too cute for words!

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During the study, a photo of a participant’s spouse would either appear alongside a neutral image (like a button), or next to a “happy” picture of a fluffy animal, an adorable child, delicious food, and the word “wonderful.” Participants were asked to self-report their gut-level feelings to the photo of their spouse, which often were consistent with if they viewed the positive or neutral images next to the romantic image. Researchers found that those who associated their spouse with more positive images continued to see their spouse in a positive way as the study continued. Not only did they have more positive associations about their spouse, but also about their marriage, researchers found.

While McNulty and his team found that the brain learned to like the spouse (especially after looking at cute pictures next to their wedding photos), but he admits no longitudinal effects can be concluded as of this preliminary study. Time reports that the researchers are currently applying for funding to see how long this effect could last.

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Written by TimeOdd

TimeOdd is a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.

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