Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Experts discover whether it's better to be right or be happy

Date:
December 17, 2013
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Doctors see many couples who lead unnecessarily stressful lives by wanting to be right rather than happy.

"Many people in the world live as couples, and we believe that it could be harmful for one partner to always have to agree with the other," researchers conclude.
Credit: Monkey Business / Fotolia

Doctors see many couples who lead unnecessarily stressful lives by wanting to be right rather than happy. But is it better to be right or to be happy?

In the Christmas edition of The BMJ, researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand try to answer this question by evaluating the effect of being right versus being happy on a couple's quality of life.

The study involved a married couple living in their own home.

The authors decided that the female participant would prefer to be right and the male participant would prefer to be happy. So the man was asked to agree with his wife's every opinion and request without complaint. Even if he believed the female participant was wrong, the male was to bow and scrape. The male was informed of the intervention while the female participant was not.

Quality of life of both participants was measured using a scoring scale of one to 10 (10 being the best possible quality of life).

The study had to be stopped after 12 days as the result of a severe adverse outcome -- this being that the male participant found the female participant became increasingly critical of everything he did. The man's quality of life score fell from 7 out of 10 at the start of the study to 3 at 12 days. The women's increased slightly from 8 to 8.5 at six days.

"It seems that being right is a cause of happiness, and agreeing with what one disagrees with is a cause of unhappiness," say the authors. "The results of this trial show that the availability of unbridled power adversely affects the quality of life of those on the receiving end."

They conclude: "Many people in the world live as couples, and we believe that it could be harmful for one partner to always have to agree with the other. However, more research is needed to see whether our results hold if it is the male who is always right."

Editor's Note: The British Medical Journal traditionally publishes a Christmas issue containing a number of articles of a lighthearted nature. For a full list of articles in the 2013 issue, see: http://www.bmj.com/content/347/7938


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Arroll, F. Goodyear-Smith, S. Moyes, T. Kenealy. Being right or being happy: pilot study. BMJ, 2013; 347 (dec17 2): f7398 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.f7398

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Experts discover whether it's better to be right or be happy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217210540.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2013, December 17). Experts discover whether it's better to be right or be happy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217210540.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Experts discover whether it's better to be right or be happy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217210540.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins