The solution of the conflict by a third party increased the activity of the reward system couples

Third party involvement in the discussion of the conflict between the two romantic partners not only help you better to solve the issue, but also increases the satisfaction of the exhibitors from the fact that the conflict is resolved. Figured it out by Swiss researchers who asked participants in his experiment — 36 pairs to discuss the conflict in their relations with the participation of the conflict or without it. In the solution of the conflict with participation of the third party participants also increased the activity of the nucleus accumbens — one of the main parts of the reward system of the brain. A study published in the journal Cortex.

One of the most effective ways of resolving the conflict (both inter-group and interpersonal) is a third party settlement (in conflict studies sometimes use the term “mediation”). As outside observers not initially privy to the essence and context of the conflict and are not familiar with any of the parties, they can objectively evaluate the arguments of each, and to decide impartially. Of course, in the case of a decision in favor of one of the parties, it may not suit another — but with a mediator (a third party) is much more likely that the conflict will be resolved favorably for all.

Despite the fact that conflicts are very frequent in everyday life, in the context of interpersonal relations they are studying, not so much. It is therefore still unclear how conflicts affect participants who, for example, are in a romantic relationship, and in this case it helps the settlement of a third party — and whether it helps at all.

To understand the issue in more detail, scientists led by Rafi and Halima (Halima Rafi) at the University of Geneva conducted an experiment with the participation of 36 heterosexual couples that are in long-term monogamous romantic relationship. Participants completed surveys on the subject of what they often argue or fight with each other. Then the pair asked for one hour to discuss each of the marked: next to them were professional conflictologist, who tried to resolve the conflict, but only for half of the pairs (in the discussion of second half couples, the conflict did not intervene).

Before and after the discussion, the participants also filled in questionnaires about your mood and attitude to conflict topics that they discussed. Before and after the discussion, one of the partners in each pair participated in an fMRI experiment in which he showed pictures of his partner and a random person and asked to assess what emotions the picture evokes.

The results of the surveys showed that after discussion with a third party conflict between the partners were less and they were more satisfied with the discussion. In addition, after discussion with the conflict studies the number of topics on which partners disagree, also decreased (however, this difference was statistically insignificant).

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