Monday, October 31, 2016


“Science says lasting relationships come down to – you guessed it – kindness and generosity”
By: Emily Esfahani Smith
Level of Difficulty: **
The text concerns the views and findings of John Gottman. Before you tackle it, watch the following videos and make a note of the findings. This will enable you to understand the text better.
·         Making Relationships Work | Part 1 | Dr. John Gottman
·         Making relationships Work / Part 2/ Dr. John Gottman
·         Making Relationships Work | Part 3 | Dr. John Gottman
·         Making Relationships Work | Part 4 | Dr. John Gottman
1.       What misconception does the writer draw attention to at the beginning of the text? Marriage means…..
2.       The first studies involving marriages were triggered by….
3.       What predictor of future relationship problems did Gottman and Levenson observe during their experiments?
4.       What was it that the masters succeeded in establishing that the disasters failed to establish?
5.       Read the example of the 1990 study to the end. What seems to determine the strength of a relationship?
·         Healthy conversation
·         Common hobbies
·         Mutual respect
·         All of the above
·         None of the above
·         Other please specify
6.       Whether a marriage will be long lasting or not can be determined quite early on by observing spouses attitudes towards each other / world views / their outlook on life .
7.       Consider the following example: a man comes home to dinner. The food is not cooked quite the way he likes it but the table is beautifully set and his wife is looking beautiful. How would a master react? Use your own words.
8.       Consider the following example: a couple is sitting at the dinner table eating. The husband is engrossed in his smartphone. The wife makes a few attempts to get through to him but gets no response. How does she feel?
9.       The quotation from Romeo and Juliet is provided to support the view that ….
10.   Look back at question 8. What long term impact could such an attitude have if it persists?
11.   Consider the following two examples; which is more damaging to the relationship? Why?
a.       You have done it again! There is far too much salt in this food. I have told you a hundred times not to empty the salt cellar into the pan! How many times do I have to tell you that I have high blood pressure
b.      There is a little too much salt in this food for my taste. If you like you can cook the food without salt in the future and we can add it at the table
12.   Read the example of the toilet seat and the dinner date. What is the take-home point from these two examples?
13.   How should each spouse have reacted?
·         Absent-mindedly
·         Excitedly
·         Softly
·         Sympathetically
·         All of the above
·         None of the above
14.   A woman comes in and says excitedly “I have passed my driving test!” Her husband responds as follows:
·         Wonderful! I am so proud of you! I knew you would pass
·         I don’t believe it! The Cubs have won! They are going to win the cup
·         Do you think you are ready to face the city traffic? You should probably leave the Maserati to me ; best be safe.
·         What? Oh good, good
15.   There seems to be positive correlation between the success of a marriage and the degree of………………….
Use the text and the videos to write about the key to a successful marriage. Alternatively you can write about the reasons for divorce. First of all, watch the following video:

·         John Gottman's The Seven Principles Presentation

This reading task comes with a pretty special bonus: a series of videos that cover pretty much everything in the text presented by the psychologist who is the focus of the text. What more could one want? So this task is a full listening task and a reading task and a writing task.
1.       Committing to a lifelong relationship that will be full of friendship, joy, and love that will carry them forward to their final days on earth.
2.       The unprecedented divorce rates in the 1970’s
3.       Quick heart rates, active sweat glands and fast blood flow
4.       A climate of trust and intimacy that made both of them more emotionally thus physically comfortable
5.       Other: the extent of interest and support in the relationship; OR, whether couples turn towards or away from each other; OR, how they respond to a bid
6.       All three
7.       Possible answer: you look lovely tonight. Doesn’t the table look beautiful; you shouldn’t have gone to all this trouble
8.       Worthless and invisible
9.       Kindness glues couples together OR Kindness makes each partner feel cared for, understood and validated – feel loved
10.   It could create distance between partners and breed resentment
11.   The first because there is no kindness
12.   Even in relationships where people are frustrated, it is almost always the case that there are positive things going on and people trying to do the right thing. OR a lot of times a partner is trying to do the right thing although it is executed poorly
13.   Sympathetically
14.   The cubs: passive destructive; what: passive constructive; Maserati: active destructive; The driving test: active constructive
15.   Active constructive responding

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