Cheating on one’s partner is a common occurrence even today. If you want to know when your special other might stray from your relationship, there are a number of red flags that you should be aware of.
Researchers from Florida State University have discovered several main predictors that can indicate when your partner will cheat.
The study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, involved 233 newlyweds who were monitored for three and a half years. During this time, researchers documented their intimate details about their relationships, including overall satisfaction, commitment, whether they cheated, and if they still remained together.
The study focused mainly on a number of psychological processes called “attentional disengagement” and “evaluation devaluation”. These processes were tested while the participants had to look at subjects photos of various highly attractive and average-looking men and women.
According to the researchers, “ attentional disengagement” involves directing one’s attention away from someone who is good-looking. “Evaluation devaluation” occurs when someone tricks themselves into thinking someone is less good-looking than they are. Both processes are common among people in a committed relationship who stop themselves from being distracted and tempted by other suitors.
The study revealed that those who didn’t look at the photos for long intervals had a lower chance to cheat while the people who took longer to direct their attention were more likely to.
According to Jim McNulty, lead author of the study and a psychology professor at FSU, people are not always aware of what they’re doing when they think about cheating or actually cheat.
“These processes are largely spontaneous and effortless, and they may be somewhat shaped by biology and/or early childhood experiences,” said Professor McNulty.
In addition to these processes, there were other predictors that would point to someone’s desire to cheat including, a person’s age, and their sexual history. Unsurprisingly, young people were found to be more likely to cheat on their partner. Men who’d had more short-term sexual partners were more likely to cheat. Women who had a similar past were found to do the opposite.
Researchers also found that people who were satisfied with their sexual relationship had a higher chance to have an affair. They speculate that people who enjoy sex, seek out more regardless if it’s with another person.
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