Study: Who You Marry is the Secret to Your Success…or Demise


By Victor Trammell

Photo credits: Gallo Images

A recently published study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University has provided further validation for the popular notion, which states that a person’s chances of succeeding or failing in life are tied to their chosen mate.

This study is titled Predicting the Pursuit and Support of Challenging Life Opportunities. The Carnegie Mellon University study was published in SAGE’s Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. The study was authored by , and .

A report by Carnegie Mellon University’s school newspaper raised an important question. The different answers to that question seem to have been found by the researchers who conducted this study. “Research on how our social lives affect decision-making has usually focused on negative factors like stress and adversity,” reads the report.

“Less attention, however, has been paid to the reverse: What makes people more likely to give themselves the chance to succeed?” the news report went on to read.

The Carnegie Mellon University researchers used 163 married couples to retrieve data from. The couples were invited to a lab and each member of the couples was given an individual choice: Find the solution to a simple brain exercise or accept the challenge with a chance to compete against others for a reward.

The data at the end of the study showed what many people believe is obvious. “Participants with more encouraging partners were substantially more likely to decide to compete for the prize, while those with partners who discouraged them or expressed a lack of confidence more often chose the simple puzzle,” the news report also read.

Brooke Feeney, the study’s lead author and psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences told her school’s news outlet that who people choose as mates can either be a driving force behind their success in life or an Achille’s heel that hinders it.

“Significant others can help you thrive through embracing life opportunities. Or they can hinder your ability to thrive by making it less likely that you’ll pursue opportunities for growth,” Freeney said in her interview.

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