(NEW YORK) -- As great as being in love is, it can also be a distraction. Henk van Steenbergen and colleagues from Leiden University in the Netherlands and the University of Maryland wanted to know how people in relationships under six months differentiated irrelevant from relevant information and if their strong amorous feelings affected their focus.
The participants filled out a questionnaire, which evaluated their love intensity, and then performed a series of tasks to test how well they paid attention.
Ultimately, those deepest in love had the hardest time ignoring information that was not central to the tasks at hand.
Van Steenbergen theorized, “When you have just become involved in a romantic relationship you'll probably find it harder to focus on other things because you spend a large part of your cognitive resources on thinking of your beloved.”
Ultimately, for the relationship to have a better chance at long-term success, he said it was important to regain better cognitive control.
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