What's the fighting all about? A comparison of reasons for romantic conflicts on television programs and in the real world

Amir Hetsroni, Abira Reizer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This chapter examines the characteristics of the emotions industry by integrating two databases regarding topics of conflicts in romantic relations. Through content analysis the topics of tangible conflicts in a dyadic relationship were mapped as presented in fictional TV programming. The findings were compared with the results of a survey which asked a sample of young adults, who were either married or engaged in a serious romantic relationship, for the reasons that caused them to battle with their significant other. The TV programming sample consisted of 27 hours of broadcasts randomly selected from primetime programs that contained a romantic storyline and were aired in Israel in 2011. This sample featured 110 relationship conflicts. Money, children and sex were the most frequently coded topics. The survey, which took place in Israel in June 2011, sampled 188 students (46 men and 142 women - median age=25 years). Their most frequently mentioned topic of conflict was household chores. In accordance with the literature concerning romantic disputes, no major sex differences were noted in the distribution of conflict topics reported in the survey. However, no relation was found between the distributions of conflict topics in the survey and on television. The last finding lends support to the distorted mirror metaphor according to which TV shows reconstruct (rather than reflect) romantic reality in a way that emphasizes drama and visual expression of emotions and by doing so contributes to the delusions inspired by the emotions industry.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Emotions Industry
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781633215962
ISBN (Print)9781633215665
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2014


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