i'm not completely convinced of this study, partly because there is no discussion of how the researchers made their observations and recorded their data:
"The brain, Cacioppo demonstrated, reacts more strongly to stimuli it deems negative. There is a greater surge in electrical activity. Thus, our attitudes are more heavily influenced by downbeat news than good news.i mean, how does a researcher get access to a couple's daily life so that they can objectively measure how much time they spend fighting? (this is not to say that the study is bogus, but only points out how little i know about how to conduct social research.)
Here's the tricky part. Because of the disproportionate weight of the negative, balance does not mean a 50-50 equilibrium. Researchers have carefully charted the amount of time couples spend fighting vs. interacting positively. And they have found that a very specific ratio exists between the amount of positivity and negativity required to make married life satisfying to both partners.
That magic ratio is five to one. As long as there was five times as much positive feeling and interaction between husband and wife as there was negative, researchers found, the marriage was likely to be stable over time. In contrast, those couples who were heading for divorce were doing far too little on the positive side to compensate for the growing negativity between them."
~ from "Our Brain's Negative Bias" @psytoday