Behavioral indicators of good and bad relationships, with psych researcher Brandi Fink

An interview with Brandi Fink, a psychology researcher and an assistant professor at UNM Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Brandi has done a lot of work analyzing the behavior of couples and families experiencing problems, including issues of physical abuse, emotional distress, and drug/alcohol abuse. She once worked with the famous relationship researcher and therapist John Gottman. Brandi and I talk about behavioral indicators of healthy and unhealthy relationships.

Links to the episode:

Topics discussed include:

  • The goals of analyzing and logging the video-taped behaviors of couples/families
  • Some of the common physical and verbal behaviors (like eye rolls and other indicators of contempt) that indicate trouble in a relationship, and those that can indicate relationship improvement or health
  • How high heart rate variability (having a heart beat that changes speeds frequently) is linked to being more mentally disciplined and emotionally healthy
  • Tips for improving a relationship
  • Brain scan research Dr. Fink has done related to how alcohol affects the brain and how alcohol leads to relationship issues
  • ┬áThe challenges of creating a behavior coding system (not wanting to go too micro-level or too macro-level)
  • Whether cultural differences can impact the analysis of behavior

Here are some resources and articles and studies related to some of the stuff we discussed:

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