The Mathematics of Love

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hypnagogue
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The Mathematics of Love
A Talk with John Gottman

We were able to derive a set of nonlinear difference equations for marital interaction as well as physiology and perception. These equations provided parameters, that allowed us to predict, with over 90 percent accuracy, what was going to happen to a relationship over a three-year period. The main advantage of the math modeling was that using these parameters, we are not only be able to predict, but now understand what people are doing when they affected one another. And through the equations we were now really able to build theory. That theory allows us to understand how to intervene and how to change things. And how to know what it is we're affecting, and why the interventions are effective. This is the mathematics of love.

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/gottman05/gottman05_index.html
 

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  • #2
loseyourname
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That sounds a lot like Dr. Neil Clark Warren, that guy that is always on TV advertising for e-Harmony.
 
  • #3
hypnagogue
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loseyourname said:
That sounds a lot like Dr. Neil Clark Warren, that guy that is always on TV advertising for e-Harmony.

I'm not so sure about that; I don't know much about e-Harmony, but if they use mathematical models, I assume it's to ascertain compatibility based on people's own self-evaluations. Gottman's work is based on objective observations of how people who are already in a relationship actually interact with eachother in typical, day-to-day situations. On the face of it, it seems like a much sounder method for determining how relationships will end up. It also opens up the possibility for informed diagnostic intervention based on scientifically discovered principles if things are not working out as well as they could be.
 
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selfAdjoint
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It seems to me the man is sincere, and he may be onto something. I don't think the equations are the major part of his work either. His goal of intervening with disfunctional couples and and families and remediating them seems a noble one, and I don't think he would be interviewed at Edge if he were just a scam artist or a kook.
 
  • #5
loseyourname
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Yeah, I'm not trying to put the guy down. I actually kind of like Neil Clark Warren; he's always so bubbly and optimistic looking. I don't at all doubt that this guy is onto something. I mean, there have to be general parameters of predictive value in marital interactions. Common sense tells us that. The only question is how useful and accurate they can be. If this guy is correct, apparently they can be very useful and accurate.
 
  • #6
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mathematics? equations? why does everything have to be so compilcated..
this is a more simple way to explain a three year romance..
In the beginning (first few months) :!!) :tongue2: :devil:
at 1.5 years : :zzz: :zzz:
at 3 years :confused:
disclaimer!
this is only a theory: research should not* ever* be done alone.
results could vary.
 
  • #7
selfAdjoint
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This isn't even a theory, only a statement of (some) results.

Question, why :zzz: :zzz: after 1.5 years instead of 1, or 2, or 5 years? Results may vary? Why? Depending on what? That's why we need math, and investigation.
 
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selfAdjoint said:
This isn't even a theory, only a statement of (some) results.

Question, why :zzz: :zzz: after 1.5 years instead of 1, or 2, or 5 years? Results may vary? Why? Depending on what? That's why we need math, and investigation.


I was for the most part,trying to be funny.it isn't a real theory.
however through some experience,I have found that my statement
has {some} truth in it..
why :zzz: after 1.5 years...it could be longer depending on the people..the desire between them..their imaginations.their looks,hormones.
some people just become bored quicker than others..The "new" wears off quicker for some..
is there an equation for boredom?. what # do you use for desire? imagination?
lust?
some may never :zzz: some sooner than 1.5
it {boredom} could be why the divorce rate so high..
it seems for me, I became bored quicker, when I was younger.
now I can read,or come here.
 
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  • #9
saltydog
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How interesting. Thanks. A lighthouse in a sea of . . . well . . . dispare. It's unfortunate however that he chose to include "Mathematics" in the description. How so many people would benefit from his help but would be "turned off" just by the use of the word combined with "love":

A typical American guy, pretty much disinterested in relationship help to begin with, upon being confronted by his woman who suggests to him that he considers looking at something called "the mathematics of love" is just going to srugg it off I'd say at least 90% of the time.

That's the irony: he's the one that needs it most. Let's face it. Most guys aren't interested in math and lots too aren't interested in "active participation" in "relationship maintenance".

They should be though. It's a big loss to them . . . some things you can know only by living a long time.
 
  • #10
lanesue
If anyone is REALLY interested in "The Mathematics of Love" as it actually applies to physics and mathematics I found a book with a chapter entitled "The Mathematics of Love" The book is "The Technology of Love, Vol 1" by Charles E. Hansen. It is worth a serious read, it is a profound work!
 
  • #11
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Sounds a little like astrology, which is based on mathematical angles (somewhat like musical intervals). If astrology was accepted as valid, then the behavior Gottman is observing would be the expression of the mathematical relationships between two people's charts. E.G. say he sees that two people never give each other any affection, well that might be the expression of say a square aspect (90° angle) between their Venuses (the planet that shows how love and how we would like to be loved).

Where he diverges, in essence, from astrology is his focus on what makes a relationship work, rather than why some people don't get along (as in they're completely different by nature). It seems obvious that if two people treat each other badly, their relationship will turn sour and even end. But, can you predict how two people will get along before they even meet? That's what astrology reveals (to a limited degree).

Finally, he says
What I focus on is a very ephemeral thing, which is what happens between people when they interact. It's not either person, it's something that happens when they're together. It is like a structure that they're building by the way they interact. And I think of it that way, almost like a fleeting architectural fluid form that people are creating as they talk to each other, as they smile, as they move.

This is known as a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composite_chart" [Broken] in astrology, the chart of the relationship derived from the midpoints between everything in the two people's charts. This is the visual structure/representation Gottman is looking for.

Even though you won't be able to read the chart, this is what it looks like http://astropath.org/images/composite-Di-Ch.gif [Broken]
 

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  • #12
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0TheSwerve0 said:
Sounds a little like astrology, which is based on mathematical angles (somewhat like musical intervals). If astrology was accepted as valid, then the behavior Gottman is observing would be the expression of the mathematical relationships between two people's charts. E.G. say he sees that two people never give each other any affection, well that might be the expression of say a square aspect (90° angle) between their Venuses (the planet that shows how love and how we would like to be loved).

Where he diverges, in essence, from astrology is his focus on what makes a relationship work, rather than why some people don't get along (as in they're completely different by nature). It seems obvious that if two people treat each other badly, their relationship will turn sour and even end. But, can you predict how two people will get along before they even meet? That's what astrology reveals (to a limited degree).

Finally, he says

This is known as a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composite_chart" [Broken] in astrology, the chart of the relationship derived from the midpoints between everything in the two people's charts. This is the visual structure/representation Gottman is looking for.

Even though you won't be able to read the chart, this is what it looks like http://astropath.org/images/composite-Di-Ch.gif [Broken]


I would have said that where he differs is the part where his model works. But hey, thats just me.
 
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  • #13
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Do you know that it doesn't work? Try it.
 
  • #14
I emailed that article to a prof I had that does relationship research herself a year or so ago.....neat stuff.
 
  • #15
SF
So "The Mathematics of Love" is just a collection of algorithms that derives results from an astrological chart? LOL!

Go pseudoscience, go! :)

I read the "Leo" prediction for today and it fit me perfectly. Unfortunately, i'm in "Virgo". =)
 

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