How Does Marriage Change Relationships? One University Of Georgia Study Has The Answer

May 2, 2018

Some people say that the longer you're married, the more you and your spouse resemble one another physically. But how about personalities?


A team of psychologists at the University of Georgia studied 169 heterosexual newlywed couples over the course of 18 months to see how quickly their personalities would change. The researchers followed the "Big 5" factor model, which tracks certain personality traits to understand and predict relationships.


Results showed marked changes in personality over that relatively short period of time, including "declines in agreeableness for husbands and for wives, declines in extraversion for husbands, declines in openness and neuroticism for wives, and increases in conscientiousness for husbands." 


On Second Thought producer Summer Evans recently celebrated her first anniversary with her husband Seth Evans. She and Seth spoke with Justin Lavner, assistant professor of psychology at UGA and lead author of the study, to see how his findings have played out in their new marriage.