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Study: Belief In On-Screen Love Could Hurt Commitment To Real Relationships

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Screen grab from "The Notebook," a 2004 romance movie released by New Line Cinema. (Credit: imdb.com)

Screen grab from “The Notebook,” a 2004 romance movie released by New Line Cinema. (Credit: imdb.com)

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LAS VEGAS (CBS Las Vegas)- Everyone loves a good love story.

However, those who believe too much in the idealistic portrayals of love depicted in movies and on television tend to miss out on the lasting love stories central to their favorite forms of entertainment.

That was what one study, authored by Jeremy Osborn of Albion College in Albion, Mich., found after researchers decided to investigate the matter.

“We live in a society that perpetually immerses itself in media images from both TV and the Web, but most people have no sense of the ways those images are impacting them,” Osborn said in a statement, according to LiveScience. “The rate of marriage failure in the U. S. is not dropping, and it is important for people to have a sense of what factors are leading to the failure of so many relationships.”

The study asked 392 married individuals to take a survey asking about their satisfaction in their current relationships, as well as their expectations and levels of commitment to their respective partners.

Participants were also asked to assess their belief in scripted romances by rating their levels of agreement with statements such as, “Television helps me understand what I can expect from my romantic relationships.”

What researchers reportedly found was that those who subscribed more to Hollywood’s depiction of love as real were ultimately less committed to their current relationships.

“People with higher belief in television portrayals might see their relationships as more costly than their lower belief counterparts do, but because they also expected higher costs they are no less satisfied,” the researchers were quoted as saying.

The study was published at the end of last month in the journal “Mass Communication and Society,” LiveScience learned.

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