College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Mate Value Both Positively and Negatively Predicts Intentions to Commit an Infidelity

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2017

Keywords

Infidelity; Mate value; Agreeableness; Commitment; Surgency

Publication Title

Personality and Individual Differences

ISSN

0191-8869

Volume

104

Abstract

As a socially monogamous species, humans generally have one committed romantic partner at a time, but sometimes engage in infidelity. Previous research has related infidelity to individual difference traits, including global assessments of “mate value” (relative value as a romantic partner on the “mating market”). We explored the extent to which one's intention to commit an infidelity is uniquely predicted by different components of mate value. The results confirm a negative relationship between one's overall mate value and one's intention to commit an infidelity, and also identify four distinct mate value components (agreeableness/commitment, surgency, emotional stability, and physical attractiveness) that uniquely predict infidelity intention. Two of these factors, surgency (for women) and agreeableness/commitment (for men), positively predict anticipated infidelity. Additionally, the results indicate that men's but not women's infidelity intention is better predicted by the combination of their own and their partner's mate value. Discussion includes interpretations of the results in terms of potential social or personal advancement.

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.07.028

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