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Last updated at 13:04 GMT, Friday, 29 November 2013

'Love test' predicts good marriage

Summary

29 November 2013

Scientists have invented a new "love test" that they believe could predict the success of a relationship. The research, published in the journal Science, suggests that a reaction to an image of a partner could give a useful indication of the future state of a marriage.

Reporter:

Pallab Ghosh

A wedding cake

Are they really 'made for each other'?

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Report

The researchers interviewed more than 100 newly-weds, all of whom said they were very happy with their partner - as one might imagine.

However, a test of their unconscious feelings towards each other showed that some of them had negative emotions which they haven’t admitted to - even to themselves.

The test involved showing one of the couple a photograph of their partner for a third of a second. They then had to answer as quickly as possible whether certain words such as great, awesome, horrible and scary were positive or negative words.

If they had unconscious negative feelings towards their partner, they were quick to identify the negative words, and vice versa.

Researchers found that those with unconscious negative feelings had them gradually surface and they admitted to being unhappy in follow-up interviews three or four years later.

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Vocabulary

newly-weds

couples who recently got married

unconscious

(here) unknown or ignored; unacknowledged

admitted to

acknowledged; accepted as true

awesome

outstanding, remarkable, amazing

scary

fear-provoking

identify

recognise

vice versa

the other way around too

surface

appear, reveal themselves

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