Writing and Marriage


Writing and Marriage

Eli Finkel and his colleagues of Northwestern University surveyed 120 couples for two years about their relationship satisfaction. There was no intervention in the first year. That is, participants were not directed to write anything. In the second year, the group was divided in two. One group continued to simply fill out the surveys. The other group was asked to complete three seven-minute writing tasks over the course of the year. They were instructed to write about arguments that they had in the previous months from “the perspective of a theoretical neutral third party”. The couples in the writing group were found to have greater relationship satisfaction at the end of the second year than the couples who did not participate in the writing task.


Finkel, E. J., Slotter, E. B., Luchies, L. B., Walton, G. M., & Gross, J. J. (2013). A brief intervention to promote conflict-reappraisal preserves marital quality over time. Psychological Science, 24, 1595-1601.



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