The Science of Relationships (Audio)

Illustration by Jenna Luecke

In honor of Valentine's Day, we're speaking with Lisa Neff, a researcher studying what makes happy, healthy romantic relationships tick. Neff is an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. She answers several burning questions, including: What are the health benefits of romantic relationships? How can newlyweds avoid communication breakdowns that result from external stress? and, Do optimists make better partners?

Neff is recruiting volunteers for a new study focusing on the romantic relationships of seniors, called Relationship Experiences Across the Lifespan. She is specifically looking for residents in the Austin, Texas area who have begun a dating relationship in the past year and who are either aged 30 to 45 or 60 and over. Eligible couples can receive up to $150 as compensation for their time. To apply, send an email to:

About Point of Discovery
Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen via iTunes, iTunes U, RSS, Stitcher or Google Play. Questions or comments about this episode or our series in general? Email Marc Airhart