Here’s the latest way science is predicting whether your relationship will last
From the way we sleep with our partners, to our social-media habits, to the idea of dating our friends and even formulas for falling in love, science has our back when it comes to analyzing the staying power of our romantic relationships. And now, with a new study, they’re taking it one step further. Apparently, the tone of voice we use with our partners is a huge indicator of whether our relationships will last.
According to Tech Times, the study in question was performed using an algorithm that leverages speech-processing techniques. Created by researchers at the University of Utah’s USC Viterbi School of Engineering, the algorithm was developed based on 100 different couples who sent in their recorded conversations to the research team. The team used these conversations to enable the algorithm to measure things like acoustics, pitch, vocal intensity, and signs of warbling in the participants’ voices.
After the algorithm was completed, the research team gathered actual relationship experts who made their own predictions for the study couples’ relationship success. The results? The algorithm yielded 79% accuracy, according to a press release from the university – higher than the prediction success rate from the assembled relationship experts who analyzed the couples using behavior codes.
“What you say is not the only thing that matters, it’s very important how you say it. Our study confirms that it holds for a couple’s relationship as well,” says Md Nasir, a doctoral student who was part of the research team, in the press release. Adds Shrikanth Narayanan, a team leader, “It’s not just about studying your emotions. It’s about studying the impact of what your partner says on your emotions.”
Basically, it’s not just what you say to your partner, but the tone of your voice when you’re saying it.
The results could mean a lot for the future of things like couples therapy and social work. Brian Baucom, a collaborator on the study, states that while the way couples speak to each other has been an understood indicator for relationship success, “The lack of efficient and reliable tools for measuring the important elements in those conversations has been a major impediment in their widespread clinical use. These findings represent a major step forward in making objective measurement of behavior practical and feasible for couple therapists.”
Way to go once again, science. Now to figure out a way to turn this into a BuzzFeed quiz based on our favorite Netflix shows…
(Image via Fox)