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Research by Baker, Kane, & Russell featured in Scientific American
The findings of this collaborative project revealed that working memory plays an important role in navigating conflict in personal relationships. In particular, partners with high working memory capacity were better able to remember each other’s statements when asked to discuss a problem in the relationship and they reported a decline in problem severity when asked to rate it several months later. This finding was not explained by self-control, tolerance for distress, or emotional regulation. The results indicate that cognitive factors, rather than only commitment, play a role in the navigation of successful relationships.