The stereotype of men being less emotionally invested in relationships than women may not be accurate, say psychologists.
A new study of online relationship support finds that men tend to experience emotional pain more than women when their relationship takes a turn for the worse.
An international team of psychologists led by researchers at Lancaster University conducted the first-ever “big data” analysis of relationship problems. The study began as an attempt to create a map of the most common relationship problems experienced by people outside of clinical and counselling settings.
Using natural language processing methods, the team analyzed the demographic and psychological characteristics of over 184,000 people who posted their relationship problems to an anonymous online forum. The researchers were then able to statistically determine the most common themes that came up across each post, creating a “map” of the most common relationship problems.
Results showed that communication problems were the #1 most frequent problem mentioned, with nearly 1 in 5 people noting difficulty discussing problems, and 1 in 8 mentioning trust issues in their relationships.
Previously unexpected patterns emerged from the data as well, including key gender differences in which themes were used the most.
The study and results are published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.
Release date: 02 November 2021
Source: Lancaster University