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Your next argument with your partner could be about...your last argument?

Heike Winterheld

Heike Winterheld, assistant professor of psychology

  • February 9, 2010 5:00am

Cal State East Bay Psychology Professor Heike Winterheld and peers just published research in the journal for the Association of Psychological Science on how your personality plays a role in recalling an argument.

In her study, couples completed personality assessments and listed problems in their relationship. They were videotaped as they discussed the two highest-ranking problems (one from each partner's list) and asked to complete a questionnaire immediately afterwards on how supportive and emotionally distant they themselves felt.  One week later, the couples returned to the lab and completed the same questionnaire again.

The results of the experiment found that less anxious individuals remembered being more distant than initially reported and more anxious individuals remembered being closer to their partners than they initially reported. Dr. Winterheld and the other authors note that these results are consistent with anxious individuals' need for closeness and security.

Depending upon your personality, you may often misread your partner’s point of view and continue to respond to the memories of the last interaction resulting in another argument.

--Kimberly Legocki

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