Calculus of Love - John and Julie Gottman

February 14, 2016

Psychologists John and Julie Gottman are famous for being able to predict with 94% accuracy whether a couple will break up, stay together unhappily, or stay together happily. In their Love Lab, they've identified hidden patterns of behavior that can strengthen or weaken relationships. If we'd known the secret to a good marriage was non-linear differential equations, we might have paid more attention in math class.


The math of relationship success: hilarious. If only.... But, my questions are these:
---On whose report or by what observations can anyone document these "behaviors" or "signals" with consistency, since it's all so 'subtle"?
---What about people who speak with sign language, aren't able to see or are otherwise disabled? Then, what calculations can one do about body language/responding to "bids"?
---Isn't "showing interest" a compilation of culturally-based signals? So, what about non-Caucasian, non-educated, non-middle class individuals/couples (whatever their samples were not)?
---Isn't "fighting" or expressing conflict also culturally and gender-based (and not always shown by gender across everyone in that gender)? What about transgender individuals/couples?
---Isn't it "common sense" that people who are kind are going to have better relationships with EVERYONE than people who are not? BTW, When some social psychology is so ridiculously simplistic, it makes it all seem unreliable, insignificant and absurd.
---What about non-heterosexual couples? What math does one use for those?
---If individuals in a relationship use this "formula," the "Turning toward" and "listening with empathy" but aren't "feeling it," then what?

Why didn't Steve ask better questions?

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