Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Negative Sentiment Override in Couples and Families

  • John M. GottmanEmail author
  • Carrie Cole
  • Donald L. Cole
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_180

Synonyms

Negative perspective

Introduction

Negative sentiment override is a concept that Dr. John Gottman used to describe the condition that occurs when negative thoughts and feelings about one’s partner become predominant in the relationship. When an individual is in this state, their partner’s statements, attitudes, and behaviors are often experienced as negative even if they are neutral or positive. Hawizins et al. (2002) For example, a partner is late coming home from work and their spouse has made several attempts to call, but there was no answer. If the partner is in negative sentiment override (also known as negative perspective), he or she will entertain negative thoughts like “He knows it’s me calling, that’s why he won’t pick up the phone. He doesn’t even have the decency to let me know that he’s okay.” Conversely, if the partner is in positive sentiment override (also known as a positive perspective), he or she would think “Gee, I hope he’s okay. He usually answers.”

Theoret...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Gottman, J. M. (1994). What predicts divorce? The relationship between marital processes and marital outcomes. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  2. Hawkins, M. W., Carrere, S., & Gottman, J. M. (2002). Marital sentiment override: Does it influence couples’ perceptions? Journal of Marriage and Family, 64, 193–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Robinson, E. A., & Price, M. G. (1980). Pleasurable behavior in marital interaction: An observational study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 48, 117–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Weiss, R. L. (1980). Strategic behavioral relationship therapy: Toward a model for assessment and intervention. In J. P. Vincent (Ed.), Advances in family intervention, assessment and theory (Vol. 1, pp. 229–271). Greenwich: JAI Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Gottman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carrie Cole
    • 1
  • Donald L. Cole
    • 1
  1. 1.The Gottman InstituteSeattleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kelley Quirk
    • 1
  • Adam R. Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.Colorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA