Heads turned: Why so many make wrong decisions when choosing a partner

Almost everyone has a person in their environment who always and constantly ends up with the wrong partner.

Heads turned: Why so many make wrong decisions when choosing a partner

Almost everyone has a person in their environment who always and constantly ends up with the wrong partner. Researchers conducted various studies to investigate why this could be and came to the conclusion that it has to do with the way we make the decision for or against love.

Several studies have examined how we choose our partners. Researcher Peter M. Todd discovered during a speed dating event that people who are under time pressure to make decisions for or against getting to know someone create a discrepancy between the desired wishes and characteristics of a potential partner and the choice made.

For the men, the researcher was able to clearly define that they made their selection primarily based on the woman's appearance. The women's decision was also based on the visual attributes of the other person. However, it also played a role in her choice how much the person describes a connection to the family and partner. In another study, researcher Alison P. Lenton also came to the conclusion: the less time, the more optical matters.

A stalemate in times of online dating and possibly a reason why it is so difficult to find the right partner in the digital world.

A study by Lucrezia Savioni examined the way we think about love using the cognitive systems researched by Kahneman and Tversky. System 1 stands for fast, unconscious and intuitive cognitive processes that occur automatically and emotionally. System 2 is a slower, rule-based cognitive system that works consciously and with a long-term focus. When it comes to love, the researcher found a clear answer, which is that System 1 decision-making predominates in love and partner decisions. People place more value on their feelings towards potential partners than on rational decisions.

Psychology Today magazine writes that the divorce rate in the United States is currently 40 to 50 percent. Even higher for second and third marriages. Psychologists describe in the magazine that most people become emotionally cognitively conditioned in early childhood. The largely irrational process in young children's behavior leads to emotional reactions in other people. It is similar to how System 1 Insights works quickly.

This leads to irrational love decisions even in adulthood. The psychologists write: "Our impression is that people are often unable to switch to a more rational Type 2 decision-making style when emotions are activated, such as when choosing a partner."

In short, you can say that for many people, the brain stops working as soon as the feelings start. The only way to avoid this is to try to take your time when making decisions regarding your choice of partner and to always listen to your head. What goals do you pursue, what wishes do you have for your counterpart and are they actually fulfilled? Or do you perhaps look through rose-colored glasses and ignore the judgment of your mind? The more emotionally controlled a person is, the harder it will be to find the right partner.

Quellen: Psychology Today, Studie Lenton, Studie Savioni

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