13 thoughts on “Why do reality TV couples split?”

  1. @Mary said,

    Sort of like the Dos Equis man. I can speak Russian in French.

    HAHAHA. Too funny. I guess it could be worse: she could be telling everyone that you have done horrible things rather than GREAT things!

  2. Mary,

    It’s very hard to get compulsive liars into therapy which is one reason the field knows so little about them. Secondly, those who go into therapy often don’t tell therapists the truth (surprise, surprise–LOL).

    However, there is now renewed research interest in a possible biological basis to e compulsive lying. Neuroimaging has revealed that there is a greater volume of white matter in the prefrontal cortex of compulsive liars

    than in control subject. The hypothesis is that the lies may be related to the greater ability to connect suggestions to thoughts to verbalizations of those thoughts in such people. In fact, they wonder if the white matter allows for greater and faster connectivity of thoughts.

    Another big problem in getting funding to study such a phenomenon is that the legal system fears what will happen if research points to a biological basis for such behavior. Ah, politics again!

  3. I was going to try to read the article but:


    Oh, Warren, how could you???

    LOL. I think I’ll sit this one out.

  4. Carole,

    My grandmother is a patholigical liar. We just have learned to take it in stride. And it is amusing. You can’t believe the things I’ve done with my life – according to her. I’m absolutly fantastic. Sort of like the Dos Equis man. I can speak Russian in French.

  5. Yes, the name “Hulk Hogan” is certainly familiar, known and loved by millions. I’ve always admired Hulk, since the day he made his debut as Thunderlips in Rocky…Something. Thanks for pointing us to the familiar name and face of Hulk.

  6. Easy – it’s not that the reality showsd breaks up the couple. It’s that the couple has a drama that TV executives and producers know will get an audience. Thus the tragedy begins from the get go.

    Newleyweds, mutliple births, etc… you can pretty much see there’s going to be drama ahead.

  7. Warren,

    I had never heard of the term “self-monitoring” and so looked it up. Very interesting. There’s a self-analysis quiz on line for people to take.

    OT a bit, but I do have a question for you. For the last year or so I have been trying to find literature on line about the phenomenon called pseudologia fantastica or compulsive lying. I ran across an article and it sparked my interest because I have one nephew whose stories can never be trusted, because I had several students during the course of my career whom I knew to be telling tall tales, and because I’ve known a few adults who do the same.

    Some people seem to be masters of it (perhaps they are sociopaths to a degree) but in my observations, I noticed that the people who do this are usually very, very transparent, yet they seem not to realize this even when they are very bright people.

    So, I started reading what I could find on the net, which is very little. The forums make for some initial interesting reading, but as one self-labeled compulsive liar said about himself, “Who know who is lying on this forum?”

    I discovered that the fields of psychology and neurology know very little about compulsive liars. The initial presumption was that they were people with low self-esteem who told tall tales to gain acceptance or respect or attention. Lately, attention has turned to possible neurological factors and there is a suspicion that people who do this may be exhibiting just one kind of OCD.

    In many, many ways, these mythomaniacs are adjusted in many other ways, but for some of them, their tall tales cause all kinds of problems.

    Okay, I have been long-winded enough? Do you know much about this subject . The few scientific papers I have found on the net usually require payment. I am wondering if they are worth purchasing?

  8. I wonder if there is something about being heterosexual that leads to divorce…?

  9. Well, I know it is a stretch…

    David, one article among several is here. For sure, there are other factors, but self-monitoring has been associated with a variety of factors that some might label narcissism. In social psych, the baggage that goes with narcissism is avoided to some degree by the descriptive concept of self-monitoring.

  10. Wow, I see the prestigious TMZ in Warren’s future. 🙂

    Since reality TV is about reality, we can extrapolate that reality TV couples are representative of all heterosexual couples. So, we can conclude that the heterosexual lifestyle results in divorce, spin-off shows, and book deals. Right? (I think I’m ready to join Dr. Paul Cameron’s Family “Research” Institute.) 😉

  11. And yet – reality stars and celebrities “want people to notice them and [are] concerned with favorable attention,” says Warren Throckmorton, a psychology professor and past president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association.

    “In the social psychological literature, this is known as self-monitoring,” he explains. “People who are high in self-monitoring have been found to be more dissatisfied in marriage and break up more frequently.”

    First…Warren you are treading a thin line here…interviews about celebrities?!?!

    Second: I am interested in this article…could you cite it?

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