Entries in survey (2)


From Saying “Yes” to Saying “I Do”: An Exclusive ScienceOfRelationships.com Series on Being Engaged and Getting Married

From the moment two people decide to get married through their wedding day, partners face a host of unique experiences during their engagement period, including more in-depth interactions with in-laws, making important joint financial decisions, and preparing for a publically declared, lifelong commitment.  Yet, despite the significance of the events leading up to the big day, only a few empirical studies have focused on the unique experiences that comprise the engagement period.1,2,3 And though private companies like The Knot have surveyed their subscribers about their engagements and weddings,4 these studies represent a select group of respondents. In an effort to more broadly address the question of “What’s it like to be engaged in the 21st century?”, ScienceOfRelationship.com, in collaboration with researchers from the Loving Lab at The University of Texas at Austin recently recruited nearly 400 newly-engaged or newly-wed individuals from around the United States. The research team asked individuals a range of questions, some of which are reviewed below (with a sneak peak at a few results as well!). Over the coming days, we will be posting the latest findings on being engaged in the 21st century.

1Burgess, E. W., & Wallin, P. (1944). Predicting adjustment in marriage from adjustment in engagement. American Journal of Sociology, 49, 324-330. doi:10.1086/219426 

2Knobloch-Fedders, L. M., & Knudson, R. M. (2009). Marital ideals of the newly-married: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 26(2-3), 249-271. doi:10.1177/0265407509106717

3Wright, J. (1990). Getting engaged: A case study and a model of the engagement period as a process of conflict-resolution. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 3(4), 399-408. doi:10.1080/09515079008256710

4Bennett, C., & Perciballi, J. (2015, March 12). The Knot, The #1 Wedding Site, Releases 2014 Real Weddings Study Statistics. Retrieved June 23, 2015. 

Taylor Anne Morgan - Ph.D. Candidate - The University of Texas at Austin 
Taylor Anne’s research focuses on different stages of romantic relationships, with an emphasis on the associated cognitions at each transition point. Specifically, she is interested in how fluctuations in relationship evaluations over time affect relationship and individual outcomes.


Liz Keneski - Ph.D. Candidate - The University of Texas at Austin 
Liz's research centers around the intersection of romantic relationships, social networks, and health. Specifically, her research interests include social network support and romantic partner support processes, romantic relationship development and transition norms, and psychological and physiological resilience to relationship stress.


Survey Says: How Do People Prefer to Receive Valentine's Day Gifts

One of the reasons people indicated that they hate Valentine’s Day is because it’s too commercial. The vast majority of our survey respondents indicated that some form of gift is expected (88%). So we wanted to know (a) how people prefer to receive their gifts and (b) what types of gifts they prefer. Below, I address the first question. Stay tuned for a breakdown of gift preferences in subsequent posts.

How do people prefer to receive gifts?

Do people want to flaunt their Valentine’s Day riches by receiving a gift in public? Or is it best to receive a gift privately? The vast majority (65%) of those surveyed preferred a private gift. One-third of our respondents indicated they had no preference --- public or private is fine. If you’re adding up the numbers, it should be clear that very few people prefer to receive their gift in a public setting; less than 2% of those surveyed opted for a flaunt what you got approach.

So if you’re on the fence about giving your gift during an intimate one-on-one moment vs. sending a singing Valentine-A-Gram to your not-so-secret Valentine’s place of work, opt for the more personal approach. It’s the safest route (worst case scenario, you’ll find out whether your partner is one of the 2%).