In 1986, my colleagues and I built an apartment research laboratory at the University of Washington that was dubbed the “Love Lab” by the media. It was notably profiled in Blink, Malcolm Gladwell’s #1 bestseller, and has been featured by Dateline NBC, BBC, The Anderson Cooper Show, TIME Magazine, and The Atlantic.
Since the 1980s, Gottman has brought more than three thousand married couples—just like Bill and Sue—into that small room in his “Love Lab” near the University of Washington campus… Can a marriage really be understood in one sitting? Yes it can, and so can lots of other seemingly complex situations. What Gottman has done is to show us how.
– Malcolm Gladwell, Blink
Over many years, we observed hundreds of couples and noted their facial expressions, heart rates, blood pressure, skin conductivity, and the words they used in conversation with their partners. We discovered that low-risk couples maintain a “magic ratio” of five positive interactions to every one negative interaction during conflict.
In 1996, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman and I co-founded The Gottman Institute to bring this research to the world, and together we created the Gottman Method to help couples improve their relationships. In 2015, we asked Carrie Cole, a Master Trainer for The Gottman Institute, to be our first Research Director.
More than thirty years after its inception, I am proud to announce that the Love Lab has been reimagined by The Gottman Institute in the heart of downtown Seattle for the high-tech modern age. And now, for the very first time, you can experience the Love Lab for yourself.
This once-in-a-lifetime experience is the world’s first science-based relationship evaluation service. Using state-of-the-art technology and proprietary software derived from mathematical models integrating nonlinear differential equations, in one day we are able to pinpoint the strengths and challenges in your relationship, and provide specific recommendations to positively adjust the course of your lives together.
In addition to her distinction as Research Director, Carrie Cole has been appointed Love Lab Director to lead all facets of this premium offering for couples. When I asked Carrie what this meant to her, she told me, “I’m so excited to be a part of the Love Lab. For a brief moment in time, I have the honor of hearing about couples’ journeys—their triumphs, their heartaches, and even their despair. Their stories matter. They want their lives together to be different—more meaningful, more connected. Through the lab analysis, I am able to synthesize the data to pinpoint where the specific struggles are. With that information I can help couples develop a more hopeful path forward.”
A portion of proceeds from the Love Lab Experience will go towards new and exciting research on couples and families. The quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our relationships, so we are committed to furthering our understanding of how to make relationships work and sharing this knowledge with you. We look forward to welcoming you to the Love Lab.
The Marriage Minute is a new email newsletter from The Gottman Institute that will improve your marriage in 60 seconds or less. Over 40 years of research with thousands of couples has proven a simple fact: small things often can create big changes over time. Got a minute? Sign up below.
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