o Norms include both societal and personal norms. Different types o Sexual infidelity o Emotional infidelity Prevalence of infidelity o The percentage of people that report being unfaithful to a romantic partner spans a large variety of values as there are subjective views of what constitutes infidelity. How infidelity is defined Who is assessed Method of assessment Common reasons for cheating o Low commitment Investment model approach Dissatisfaction with current relationship Availability of attractive alternatives Low investment in current relationship o Desire for sex Evolutionary approach People cheat because it increases their ability to pass on their genes.
States that men and women don’t have the same motivation to cheat; Men have greater motivation to cheat, and are more interested in sexual variety (i.e., more partners). o Revenge/anger Retaliation approach People cheat in response to their partner’s unfaithfulness. View cheating as a “socially acceptable” way to even the score in the relationship Attempt to hurt the unfaithful partner in an equivalent manner o “Cheating prone” personalities Individual difference approach Emphasizes the “personal readiness” to cheat Personality correlates Sociosexual orientation Restricted v. unrestricted Cues of infidelity, ways of discovering infidelity, and how these influence relationship quality Discovering infidelity o Unsolicited partner discovery Your partner tells you that they are cheating/have cheated on you. o Solicited discovery Your/your partner has suspicions that you/they are cheating, and the accused admits to the unfaithful behavior. o Unsolicited third party discovery Someone informs you that your partner is cheating on you, although you did not prompt the conversation.
o Red handed discovery You catch your partner cheating on you. Relationship quality [change] o Unsolicited partner discovery: -0.76 Suggests that the partner is willing to change the behavior o Solicited information: -1.14 o Unsolicited third party: -1.32 o Red handed: -1.33 Forgiveness o Unsolicited partner discovery: 4.91 o Solicited: 4.42 o Red handed: 4.00 o Unsolicited third party: 3.77 Likely a result of social embarrassment Cues [patterns] to infidelity o Angry, critical, argumentative o Changes in normal routine and sexual behavior o Apathetic toward partner o Increased sexual interest o Exaggerated displays of affection o Sexual disinterest/boredom
o Expresses relationship dissatisfaction o Emotional disengagement o Physical signs of infidelity (i.e., lipstick on the collar, text messages, etc.) o Spending increased time with others o Acts guilty and anxious o Changing passwords, restricting access to cell phone, etc.
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- Spring '08