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Marriage Minutes: Can Strangers Tell If Your Spouse Is a Cheater?
A small study asked strangers to identify cheaters based on a short video of a couple's interaction.


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Can strangers view the body language of strangers and tell if someone is a cheater?


During that four minutes one partner was asked to draw something blindfolded, while the other helped guide them in their drawing.”
Strangers Able to Identify Cheaters

We hear it a lotÖ someone can't see the truth because they're too close to the source. This might be true in relationships as well, where we might be too close to see what's really going on. This study is based on a small sample, but it does raise some interesting insights. Dr. Nathaniel One small study asked strangers to identify cheaters just by viewing their interactions for a couple of minutes. Nathaniel Lambert, an assistant professor at Brigham Young University's School of Family Life authored the study, which looked at 51 undergraduate students at Florida State University and their romantic partners. The students filled out a survey and were then videotaped for four minutes. During that four minutes one partner was asked to draw something blindfolded, while the other helped guide them in their drawing. Six strangers were then shown the footage and asked how likely each student was to cheat on his or her partner. Their responses were relatively accurate when compared to the original survey answers.

A second study was conducted with 43 more undergrads. This time the strangers were also asked to rate the participants' commitment and trustworthiness. While adding in these two additional elements into their assessment the strangers were again, with strong accuracy, identify those who had admitted on the survey to cheating.

There are many holes to this study, such as how well trained the strangers are in being able to recognize and identify body language, what body language hints tipped off the viewers that someone had been unfaithful, and what gestures might have set off false alarms in the strangers.

What Makes for a Stable Marriage

Randal S. Olson, a computer science graduate research assistant at Michigan State University, likes to tinker with data. He had viewed various research about the likelihood of divorce and what the contributing factors were and decided to offer a more clear picture. In particular, he looks at the data of the recent study titled, "A Diamond is Foreverí and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration," which we previously covered here. In his breakdown of data, Olson's charts highlight some interesting indicators. For instance, those who never go to church less likely to divorce compared to those who go sometimes, however both groups are more likely to divorce than those who attend church regularly. Another charts shows that couples to went on a honeymoon were 41% less likely to divorce than those who had skipped their post-wedding vacation. In another point Olson writes, "men are 1.5x more likely to end up divorced when they care more about their partnerís looks, and women are 1.6x more likely to end up divorced when they care more about their partnerís wealth."

If you're interested in the various divorce factors, be sure to give the data look with this new layer of visuals.


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Over 1 million couples turn to Hitched for expert marital advice every year. Sign up now for our newsletter & get exclusive weekly content that will entertain, educate and inspire your marriage.



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