Renison professor studies the effect of her namesake technique on saving troubled relationships

Monday, July 25, 2016

[Ed. Note: This weekend Professor Christine Logel sent This Week at Renison an email praising the exceptional research of one of her colleagues. We present the following with her permission.] 

silhouette of a couple arguingAt last week’s International Association of Relationships Researchers Conference in Toronto, Dr. Denise Marigold presented a talk on her paper which has just been published in the journal Personal Relationships. She had 96 dating couples come to the lab throughout the data collection phase (I can't emphasize enough how much work that is and how few researchers are willing to devote that time to doing such top-notch data collection) and randomly assigned them either to a control group or to her treatment, now known throughout the field as the "Marigold Manipulation." Professor Marigold had them remember a compliment their partner had recently given them and then guided them through writing tasks to help them see how it's a sign their partner admires and cares about them. Doing so helped the high-conflict couples go into a conflict expecting positive outcomes, and those positive outcomes were borne out. Professor Marigold's "Marigold Manipulation" is highly cited and is described in detail as a shining example of subtle but effective social psychological interventions in multiple high-status reviews of the intervention literature that top researchers in our field have written.

Professor Denise Marigold is an Associate Professor in Social Development Studies at Renison