Doctors see many couples who lead unnecessarily stressful lives by wanting to be right rather than happy.
But is it better to be right or to be happy? In the Christmas edition of The BMJ, researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand try to answer this question by evaluating the effect of being right versus being happy on a couple's quality of life. The study involved a married couple living in their own home. The authors decided that the female participant would prefer to be right and the male participant would prefer to be happy. So the man was asked to agree with his wife's every opinion and request without complaint.
Even if he believed the female participant was wrong, the male was to bow and scrape. The male was informed of the intervention while the female participant was not. Quality of life of both participants was measured using a scoring scale of one to 10 (10 being the best possible quality of life). The study had to be stopped after 12 days as the result of a severe adverse outcome - this being that the male participant found the female participant became increasingly critical of everything he did.