Language Style Can Predict the Future of a Relationship

A study conducted by James Pennebaker, University of Texas, Austin, throws light at the importance of language in a relationship. Besides the similarity in values, personality and the physical appearance, the way people talk is also vital in predicting the future of a romantic relationship. Couple who speak in similar fashion were believed to be more compatible than those who do not.

Focus was on the usage of words known as the “function words”. Words like be, a, the, anything, that, and, will, him etc., come under the function words category. Our writing and speaking styles depend upon the way we use them. According to Pennebaker, these words are very social and require apt social skills when in usage.

The researchers conducted two experiments on college students. Their conversations were recorded and studied. A computer programme compared their language style. It was revealed that the couples whose writing and speaking styles matched dated for a longer period of time than the other couples. What we say is as important as how we say it. The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.

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