What are the odds of a lasting marriage for newly-weds who argue angrily over money or other issues? Not very good, according to British mathematician James Murray, who has devised a formula that he claims can predict divorce 94 per cent of the time. “Some couples might as well get divorced right away,” he says after conducting a study with 700 newly married couples.

The Oxford University professor and his team filmed the couples discussing contentious issues for 15 minutes, and graded each statement made during their respective turns of speech. Statements with humour or affection were given positive scores, while those with defensiveness or anger were given negative ones. The scores were used to identify whether the marriage would stand the test of time, and the couples were followed up over a period of 12 years.

Murray says he was astonished at how easily the predictive power of such discussions could be captured in a simple mathematical formula. ~ ABC News (Australia), Mar 27

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet