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Romantic Trust Can Make You Delusional — In a Good Way

Romantic Trust Can Make You Delusional – In a Good WayRomantic trust can cause you to remember that your partner was more considerate and less hurtful than he or she actually was, suggests a new study.

Researchers from Northwestern University and Redeemer University College (Ontario, Canada) say the investigation is the first to systematically examine the role of trust in biasing memories of transgressions in romantic partnerships.

Experts say that people who are highly trusting tended to remember transgressions in a way that benefits the relationship, remembering partner transgressions as less severe than they originally reported them to be.

On the other hand, people low on trust demonstrated the opposite pattern, remembering partner transgressions as being more severe than how they originally reported them to be.

“One of the ways that trust is so good for relationships is that it makes us partly delusional,” said Eli J. Finkel, co-author of the study.

Laura B. Luchies, lead author of the study, said the current psychological reality of your relationship isn’t what actually happened in the past, but rather the frequently distorted memory of what actually happened.

“You can remember your partner as better or as worse than he/she really was, and those biased memories are important determinants of how you think about your partner and your relationship,” she said.

Researchers have long known that trust is crucial to a well-functioning relationship.

“This research presents a newer, deeper understanding,” Finkel said. “It reveals that trust yields relationship-promoting distortions of the past.

“If you talk to people who really trust their partner now, they forget some of the negative things their partner did in the past. If they don’t trust their partner much, they remember their partner doing negative things that the partner never actually did. They tend to misremember.”

Source: Northwestern University

Loving couple photo by shutterstock.

Romantic Trust Can Make You Delusional — In a Good Way

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Romantic Trust Can Make You Delusional — In a Good Way. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 20, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2013/02/28/romantic-trust-can-make-you-delusional-in-a-good-way/52044.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.