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April 23, 2003

The Mathematics of Marriage

Interesting article in The Chronicle.

"John M. Gottman and his colleagues have developed "influence functions" to illustrate how the partners in various types of couples influence each other's moods over the course of a difficult conversation. The horizontal axis represents a range of verbal and facial expressions -- from highly critical and contemptuous (on the left) to highly supportive and affectionate (on the right)."

Rings true to me, and it's comforting to see that the model predicts that conflict-avoiding marriages tend to be long and stable. I wonder if this would make a good project for my Simulation and Games class next fall?