Quality in dating couples
Given both the name and intuitive appeal of this idea, it is perhaps not surprising to learn that this effect has been cited hundreds of times in academic journals and textbooks.
In recent years, however, several scientists (myself included) have grown sceptical.
The first time, participants reported on the degree to which their parents approved of and interfered in their relationship.
Four months later, participants were asked about the quality of their relationship – that is, how much love and commitment they felt.
It just doesn’t seem to fit with what the broader literature on social approval and relationships has reported.
For instance, I published a series of three studies over the past decade showing that when one’s family and friends do not accept or approve of one’s relationship, the health of the partners and the quality of the relationship tends to suffer.
As you can see, the Romeo and Juliet effect as popularised by the 1972 study did not hold up a direct replication attempt.A new study just published in the journal Social Psychology tried a direct replication of the original study in an attempt to see if the findings hold up.