Want a Happier Marriage? Unrealistically Idealize Your Partner

by John M Grohol PsyD Want a Happier Marriage? Unrealistically Idealize Your PartnerIf ignorance is bliss, then delusion is even better — if you’re in a new marriage, anyways.
So says new research from investigators at the University at Buffalo, who examined 193 newly-married couples over three years to see what kinds of variables might predict greater marital satisfaction.
How could this be? Weren’t we always told the common wisdom — that we needed to be realistic in our relationships, and not look for that Knight in Shining Armor who comes to our rescue (or a Maiden trapped in a castle tower who needs rescuing)?
Apparently the common wisdom may need to be revisited, because continuing to idealize your partner long after the glow of the wedding fades away seems to help keep you happy.
Read on to learn more…

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Women Feel Prettier by Having More Things

April 8th, 2011  |   

A GoodTherapy.org News Summary

A new study discovers a link between a woman’s view of material possessions and a negative body image. Lead author Eleni-Marina Ashikali discusses the findings. “Not all women are affected in the same way by looking at idealized media models, and it has therefore been important for research to identify factors that make some women more vulnerable than others to feeling negative about their body when exposed to such media images. We found that women focus more strongly on their appearance when materialistic values are highlighted momentarily to them through priming. At the same time, their awareness of how their bodies fall short of the idealized image is heightened during this priming process, particularly for women who are already materialistic. This means that the influence of materialism is a further factor that makes women more vulnerable to negative body image.”

Although it has been previously discovered that women judge their own body images harshly after viewing pictures of women who are physically fit and thin, this is the first time that this link has been identified. Today’s advertising campaigns consistently marry affluent lifestyles and financial success with perfect body images, leading the consumer to believe that you must have one to attain the other. Researchers believe that the new information gathered from this study should be considered in marketing strategy interventions and could lay the groundwork for changes in advertising policies in the marketing industry.

Ashikali goes on to say: “Women would benefit from gaining greater awareness of current marketing strategies, as well as becoming more critical of the images and messages conveyed by materialistic media. Our work highlights the need for less emphasis on materialistic messages in the marketing of goods and products, as well as on the promised unrealistic benefits of owning a particular good.”

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