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... Scientists carry out study on arguing couples Scientists carry out study on arguing couples

11 December 2008

Tired of rowing with your partner? Well new research reveals arguments could be a thing of the past.

A study at the University of Zurich has found that a dose of the hormone Oxytocin helps reduces the stress hormone Cortisol in arguing couples.

Scientists asked 47 couples aged between 20 and 50 to argue in a laboratory about typical topics of contention, whether it was leaving the toilet seat up, doing the washing up or not spending enough time together.

Before the row, couples were given either the hormone Oxytocin or a placebo nasal spray and during the argument their behaviour was monitored.

Signs picked up on were listening, confirming and laughing during the conflict compared to negative behaviour such as criticising, degrading or interrupting the partner.

Beate Ditzen, one of the researchers, said: "Couples that received Oxytocin behaved significantly more positively than couples with the placebo."

The scientist added that Oxytocin could help explain how close relationships have a positive effect on our health.