As part of an unusual experiment, the husband was instructed to “agree with his wife’s every opinion and request without complaint,” and to continue doing so “even if he believed the female participant was wrong,” according to a report on the research that was published Tuesday by the British Medical Journal.My bet is that the wife's quality of life plummeted as well. That's why she was getting increasingly critical. In most male-female relationships, the woman will push until she is metaphorically slapped down. Whether they actually need them in the way children do or not, the observable fact is that women crave boundaries. Men who don't provide those boundaries, consciously or unconsciously, will tend to incite contempt and infuriate them.
The husband and wife were helping a trio of doctors test their theory that pride and stubbornness get in the way of good mental health. In their own medical practices in New Zealand, they had observed patients leading “unnecessarily stressful lives by wanting to be right rather than happy.” If these patients could just let go of the need to prove to others that they were right, would greater happiness be the result?
Enter the intrepid husband. Based on the assumption that men would rather be happy than be right, he was told to agree with his wife in all cases. However, based on the assumption that women would rather be right than be happy, the doctors decided not to tell the wife why her husband was suddenly so agreeable.
Both spouses were asked to rate their quality of life on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the happiest) at the start of the experiment and again on Day 6. It’s not clear how long the experiment was intended to last, but it came to an abrupt halt on Day 12.
“By then the male participant found the female participant to be increasingly critical of everything he did,” the researchers reported. The husband couldn’t take it anymore, so he made his wife a cup of tea and told her what had been going on.
That led the researchers to terminate the study.
Over the 12 days of the experiment, the husband’s quality of life plummeted from a baseline score of 7 all the way down to 3. The wife started out at 8 and rose to 8.5 by Day 6. She had no desire to share her quality of life with the researchers on Day 12, according to the report.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Women crave boundaries
This is an interesting experiment which demonstrated one aspect of Game, namely, the foolishness of thinking that being agreeable will make women more pleasant: