(Lack of) trust influences memory of partner’s behavior.
‘Do you trust me?’ Aladdin asked the still hesitant Jasmine. It was an important question in different ways. Her trust not only enabled him to organize the flying carpet journey of a lifetime, it could also make Jasmine forget about Aladdin’s prior mistakes.
The way you trust your partner is the way you remember him or her, American scientists at the Northwestern University and Redeemer University College found out. Just like you expect your lover to behave in the future, you also memorize his or her behavior in the past by matching it to your present feelings.
With the help of other universities the researchers analyzed four different longitudinal studies and demonstrated that the greater a person’s trust in their partner, the more positively they tend to remember their partner’s past transgressions.
That’s irrespective of how they earlier described the same transgressions. The researchers also controlled for relationship commitment, relationship satisfaction, self-esteem and attachment orientations.
Trust seems to influence memories about the number, severity, and consequentiality of the transgressions. And it also works the other way around; people that don’t trust their lover too much, memorize their former behavior more negatively.
“So that’s why trust is so crucial to a relationship, researcher Eli J. Finkel, says. “It makes you partly delusional.” If you do want to have a more objective view on your relationship, here’s how professionals look at it.
Researchers at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, University of London, the University of Texas at Austin contributed to the study.
Source: Futurity, Northwestern University
Luchies LB, Wieselquist J, Rusbult CE, Kumashiro M, Eastwick PW, Coolsen MK, & Finkel EJ (2013). Trust and Biased Memory of Transgressions in Romantic Relationships. Journal of personality and social psychology PMID: 23397968
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