06/11/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

The 'Un-Marriage' Trend: The Beginning Of The End Of An Institution?

It probably won't come as a major surprise that at this particular stage in my research, I began to wonder if the Unmarriage Trend, as I had taken to calling it, wasn't even a real trend after all. I started to wonder if maybe it wasn't anything more than a series of randomly-occurring coincidences. A relatively small and scattered trend, in other words. Maybe it only appeared to be widespread because I was thinking about it all the time, and looking for it everywhere I went.

Many of you have probably had similar experiences: noticing something for the first time, and then seeing that something - whatever it is - everywhere you look. This is actually a well-known cognitive process, and it takes place in a part of the brain known as the Reticular Activating System.

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