Came across Toronto Star article, uncredited, in Ottawa Metro. Addressing future orientation as a means to resolve, or reframe, current relationship disputes. Article by Lauren Pelley, “Fighting with your spouse today? Think about the future“, Toronto Star, August 9, 2016. Article based on published research of University of Waterloo psychology doctoral candidate Alex Huynh, as co-written. Research published in Social Psychological & Personality Science journal. The article, “The Value of Prospective Reasoning for Close Relationships“, co-written by Alex C. Huynh, Daniel Y-J. Yang and Igor Grossmann, was first published online July 27, 2016. That an academic article like this was picked up so quickly by the popular media is a marvel in itself. Research that resonates.
The article is abstracted as follows:
We examined how adopting a future (vs. present)-oriented perspective when reflecting on a relationship conflict impacts the process of reasoning and relationship well-being. Across two studies, participants instructed to think about how they would feel in the future (vs. present) expressed more adaptive reasoning over a relationship conflict—low partner blame, greater insight, and greater forgiveness, which was then associated with greater relationship well-being—for example, more positive versus negative emotions about the relationship and expectations that the relationship will grow. These findings were driven by a decrease in person-centered language when reflecting on the conflict. Implications for understanding how temporal distance and reasoning impact relationship conflict management are discussed.
Asking one group of people to reflect on a recent conflict with a romantic partner or close friend, and how they feel about it now. Asking another group to project how they suspect they will feel about a similar conflict a year from now. Other commentators agreeing that, in general, if one can project into the future, a current conflict will seem less stressful.
Perceptions as to the downside of the present.
Looking forward for balance, rather than looking back with regret.