Instinct or gut feeling can actually help predict the chances of success of a marriage, or the risk of divorce . According to the results of a new experiment that was conducted recently, test results of married couples, who were reacting very instinctively to photographs of their spouses, revealed an effect on the chances of success of the marriage.

The researchers asked more than 100 married couples to rate their spouse. These people had all been married recently, and not surprisingly, considering that this was just one month after the marriage, just everybody declared that their spouses were perfect. Then the researchers asked the couples to each look at photographs of their new spouse, just before they were asked to identify whether a word that flashed on a computer screen in front of them was negative or positive. After the experiment, the couples were followed and evaluated over a period of four years.

While analyzing responses to the words and photographs, the researchers found that those spouses who took a longer time to identify negative words, and were more able to quickly identify positive words, were much more likely to remain happily married at the end of the four years, compared to those couples, who were quick to identify negative words and took longer to identify the positive ones. The test is based on the fact, that the brain does take some time to move from a negative response to a positive response, while it can much more quickly from a negative reaction -on seeing the spouse’s photo – to another negative reaction to a word.

The researchers believe that the study only shows a higher level of dissatisfaction or despair in a marriage in these couples, but does not necessarily predict a higher risk divorce. They also admit that the test in its current form cannot be used as a diagnostic tool to determine the success of a marriage.

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