Sunday, April 30, 2006

How to predict divorce with more than 94% accuracy

John Gottman, has created a model that can predict whether a couple will divorce with 94% accuracy. I first heard about it at an Association for Bahai Studies conference in Toronto.

The model was created by studying more than 700 couples for more than a decade.

To apply model, Gottman videotapes a couple discussing a contentious issue for 15 minutes. A team then reviews the tape to identify all instances of pre-specified positive and negative behaviors.

For example, the introduction of humor during a tense moment, is given a score of +4, while the rolling of the eyes is given a score of -4. A nod, to acknowledge the other person's point is given a score of +1.

If the ratio of positive to negative scores isn't at least 5:1, the couple is predicted to divorce.

He has produced a number of interesting books accessible to the public including Why Some Marriages Succeed while Others Fail.

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