We know why you talk “like a dog” to your partner

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    The information may make you smile, but it has been confirmed by a study: married couples tend to communicate with the same techniques as those usually used to address babies or dogs.

    Do you have a particular way of interacting with your partner? This could well be explained, according to a study. Indeed, researchers from Lorand University in Hungary have worked on modes of communication in couples. And it seems that these are the same techniques used to address babies or dogs.

    A high pitched tone, exaggerated facial expressions and simple language

    For this work, published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science, scientists examined 46 married people who had a dog and a baby. The researchers analyzed the facial expressions and emotional states of these volunteers while they spoke to either their spouse, their child or their pet.

    Results: They noticed that when talking to the dog or reading a nursery rhyme to their baby, the parents used more pronounced facial muscle movements, with more exaggerated mouth movements. More surprisingly, experts also found that couples used the same behavior when talking to each other.

    A way to better capture the attention of others

    Couples therefore use simple language, a higher pitched tone and more marked facial expressions to communicate. This way of expressing oneself is therefore the same as that used for pets or babies, who do not understand what we say.

    According to the researchers, couples also use more facial expressions that mimic surprise, with wide eyes and raised eyebrows. Édua Koós-Hutás, main author of this work explains: “Although we need more research to understand the reason for their resemblance, it appears that the way the parents talk to babies or talk to each other has many similarities”.

    According to her, “this similarity could help create a sincere and focused atmosphere when they speak“. These adaptations are therefore considered an effective way to capture and maintain attention or strengthen ties with one's partner. Conversely, scientists note, during exchanges with strangers, facial expressions and movements exaggerations of the mouth were, at that moment, more reduced.

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