Social Psychology And Its Effects On Society

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As we all know marriages and relationships can be very difficult to maintain, but has anyone ever wondered why? After two people stand before everyone important to them in the world and publicly declare that they love each other and intend to remain together for the rest of their lives, everything social psychology has learned about the stability of publicly declared opinions suggests that these will be the most stable opinions of all. Yet of course they aren’t. Despite the almost uniform happiness and optimism of newlyweds, most first marriages will end in divorce or permanent separation (Bramlett & Mosher, 2002), and the rate of dissolution for remarriages is even higher (Cherlin, 1992). In most cases, this represents a drastic and unwanted change in a highly valued belief, a change that is emotionally and financially costly to both members of the couple. Financial issues are one reason why people remain in unhappy and unhealthy relationships. Even in marriages that remain intact, newlyweds’ initially high levels of marital satisfaction tend to decline over time (VanLaningham, Johnson, & Amato, 2001). How can we account for this change? How is it that marital satisfaction declines so frequently, despite our best efforts to hold on to the positive feelings that motivate marriage in the first place? And what is it those couples that maintain their initial happiness are doing right?
According to Benjamin R. Karney, when couples in the early years of marriage

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