A new research led by psychologists at Yale University points to the flexibility of human brains, which explains why people judge transgressors with lenience and stay in abusive relationships for longer periods of time. The results of the study are published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.
"The brain forms social impressions in a way that can enable forgiveness," said Yale psychologist Molly Crockett, senior author of the paper. "Because people sometimes behave badly by accident, we need to be able to update bad impressions that turn out to be mistaken. Otherwise, we might end relationships prematurely and miss out on the many benefits of social connection."
In another words, people tend to give benefits of doubt to the aggressors or to forgive them. “The human mind is built for maintaining social relationships, even when partners sometimes behave badly," concludes the research study.
Authors of the study hope that the research would help shed light on psychiatric disorders involving social difficulties, such as Borderline Personality Disorder. They have also developed new tools for measuring impression formation, which could help improve understanding of relational dysfunctions.