Added: Kobi Palmer - Date: 01.02.2022 21:18 - Views: 47294 - Clicks: 7809
Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. The study examines perceptions of infidelity, paying particular attention to how these perceptions differ based on biological sex and personality traits, specifically agency and communion and their unmitigated counterparts.
The study utilizes a sample of male and female college students. In addition to the personality measures, participants completed a item checklist that assessed their perceptions of specific items that could potentially be construed as infidelity. It was hypothesized that females would construe more items as infidelity than would males. It was also predicted that unmitigated communion and communion would be positively correlated with these perceptions and that unmitigated agency would be negatively correlated with these perceptions. No correlation was predicted between agency and infidelity.
All hypotheses were supported. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed. Experiencing an act of what one considers to be infidelity within the confines of a committed relationship is without argument a personal and often traumatic event. But what constitutes such an act? The purpose of the current investigation is to begin exploring this question. He distinguished between two types: emotional and sexual. Recent research has shown a particularly prominent difference between how men and women respond to different types of perceived infidelity.
Men, on the other hand, consider primarily physical contact, typically sexual, to constitute infidelity, much more so than an emotional involvement outside of their relationship. The present study was conducted in an effort to better define how people perceive infidelity by using a broader operational definition.
The study seeks to showcase those items, or acts, that people commonly define as infidelity using a multiple-item checklist. This investigation hypothesized that women will check off overall more items as constituting what they perceive to be infidelity than will men. Gender-related traits are those traits that are considered to be more common in one sex than in the other. There are two main types of gender-related traits, agency and communion. It emphasizes such issues as self-protection and the creation of a unique identity.
Communion, on the other hand, is the extent to which one focuses on establishing and maintaining supportive relationships and the belief that one is part of a larger social structure. It emphasizes such issues as cooperation and attachment. Most individuals possess both traits to a moderate extent and can therefore garner the benefits of each.
However, there are instances when an individual can possess one of these traits to the exclusion of the other. The traits then become known as unmitigated agency and unmitigated communion, and those unmitigated versions of the gender-related traits are associated with less socially acceptable outcomes.
These individuals will therefore be more socially isolated and will lack the supportive networks that could help them in times of stress. The unmitigated communion individual tends to be more focused on the needs of others to the point where their own needs are largely ignored. These individuals thus will generally have a lesser sense of their own identity. Research has shown that females tend to score higher than males on measures of communion and unmitigated communion, whereas males tend to score higher than females on measures of agency and unmitigated agency.
Now that both perceived infidelity and those gender-related traits that apply to the current study are defined, the issue of how infidelity and the gender-related traits might potentially be associated with each other will be explored. research correlates unmitigated communion with traits such as low self-esteem and a more co-dependent nature and with being overly concerned or obsessive with the state of a relationship or with the partner involved. Therefore, a positive correlation between unmitigated communion and perceived infidelity is predicted.
On the contrary, unmitigated agency is correlated with traits such as hostility, greed, and arrogance and with being overly concerned with oneself. Therefore, a negative correlation between unmitigated agency and perceived infidelity was predicted. We next hypothesized about agency and communion, the two more socially healthy gender-related traits. Based on the characteristics of agency and its correlation with achievement, power, and competence, 8 we hypothesized that there would be no correlation between agency and perceived infidelity, as a result of the emotional security of individuals scoring high in agency.
Because of communion and its focus on relationships, we were unsure of the impact it would have on the of the study. On one hand, it is possible that communion would be negatively correlated with infidelity, as a result of the communion individual possessing a more positive outlook on relationships and therefore feeling less threatened or less negatively about more items on the questionnaire. They would therefore have fewer perceptions of infidelity.
As a result, no firm hypothesis was set forward concerning how communion would be associated with infidelity perceptions. A total of undergraduate college students recruited from a large survey course completed all measures of the study. The participants were given extra credit in return for their time. In the event that a student did not want to participate or did not feel comfortable responding to the questionnaires in the study, they were given the opportunity to complete another asment ie, a summary of a short journal article for an equal amount of extra credit.
Participants ranged in age from 18 to 37 years mean Participants were predominantly heterosexual Participants were asked to respond to three questionnaires, one involving perceptions of infidelity, one involving ratings of agency, communion, and unmitigated agency, and one for ratings of unmitigated communion. For the perceived infidelity questionnaire, participants were asked to check off those situations they considered to constitute infidelity. For both of the gender-related trait surveys, Likert scales were used ranging from 1 to 5 on how strongly they agreed or disagreed with the statement.
Participant confidentiality was maintained through the use of identification s rather than names when collecting and analyzing data. Participants ed an informed consent form that was submitted separately from their responses to the questionnaires. The infidelity questionnaire was constructed in a checklist format and consisted of 19 statements. Participants were required to determine whether or not they considered each statement to be an act of infidelity. Given that no questionnaire used to assess these ideas could be located, the authors wrote the items from scratch as a starting point for exploring perceptions of infidelity.
See Appendix A for a full list of the items. The participants also completed the extended version of the Personal Attributes Questionnaire, the measure used to assess the traits of agency, unmitigated agency, and communion 10 , 11 Each subscale consisted of eight items, which were rated on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 not at all identifying with the trait to 5 very much identifying with the trait. Unmitigated agency items reflected a negative orientation toward the self, exclusive of others, such as self-absorption eg, arrogance and greed and a negative view of others eg, hostile and cynical.
These scales have high internal consistencies and well-established reliability and validity. In the present study, the internal consistencies for the scales were comparable with research: agency 0. Unmitigated communion was assessed with the Revised Unmitigated Communion Scale. research has shown that this scale demonstrates acceptable internal consistency, ranging from 0. The first hypothesis of the study was that females would consider more items on the checklist to constitute infidelity than would males. Females checked off an average of The second set of hypotheses stated that females would score higher on measures of communion and unmitigated communion, whereas males would score higher than females on measures of agency and unmitigated agency.
These predictions were confirmed in all cases. All means were in the expected directions. See Table 1 for a summary of the means separated by sex. The final set of hypotheses deals with the relationships of the gender-related traits to perceptions of infidelity. It was predicted that unmitigated communion would be positively associated with the of items on the checklist considered to constitute infidelity, and this prediction was supported.
Given that the infidelity questionnaire used in the current study was new, a factor analysis was carried out in order to examine subtleties in the patterns of responses. A principal components analysis using varimax rotation was computed, showing evidence of five factors within the questionnaire. These five factors were sexual activity, suggestivity, fantasy, trust, and other commitment. See Appendix A for a breakdown of which items loaded on which factor.
The originally reported sex difference in which females perceived more items to constitute infidelity held for four of the five subtypes, with the fantasy factor being the sole exception although even in this case the means were in the original direction. When examining the pattern of correlations between these five factors and the gender-related traits, some interesting patterns emerge. Unmitigated communion was positively associated with the fantasy, trust, and other commitment factors, suggesting that these specific types of infidelity were responsible for the originally reported positive correlation between unmitigated communion and overall perceptions of infidelity.
Communion was positively correlated with all five subtypes of infidelity perceptions, and agency remained unrelated to any of the five subtypes of infidelity. Both of these patterns support the originally reported associations with infidelity perceptions as a whole. Finally, unmitigated agency was negatively associated with the fantasy and other commitment factors, suggesting that these two specific subtypes of infidelity were responsible for the originally reported negative association between unmitigated agency and infidelity perceptions.
The present study provides support for all hypotheses laid out in the introduction. First, female participants checked off more items on the perceived infidelity questionnaire than did males. This difference was hypothesized because research has shown that females have a stronger sensitivity toward infidelity than do males, particularly perceived emotional infidelity. This is because sexual infidelity presents the possibility of the evolutionary cost of devoting resources to the offspring of another male.
Thus, the theory suggests that females are more likely to become upset by s of resource withdrawal foreshadowed by emotional infidelity by their mates than by s of perceived sexual infidelity. This theory is the currently accepted wisdom about evolved responses to infidelity and best explains why there are gender differences in response to perceptions of infidelity.
Research on evolutionary responses to betrayal and other research has looked at what happens once an individual perceives infidelity and why they perceive it. Our findings suggest that those perceptions will vary based on personality traits and biological sex. The current study has sought to identify what those perceptions of infidelity are before they are acted on and begin to promote jealousy and anger in a relationship. Second, females scored higher on communion and unmitigated communion, whereas males scored higher on agency and unmitigated agency. For the gender-related traits, there were multiple parts to the hypothesis.
We first hypothesized a positive correlation between unmitigated communion and infidelity perceptions. The support this hypothesis. A potential reason for this ificant correlation between unmitigated communion and infidelity perceptions is primarily the type of personality traits that unmitigated communion individuals display. These personality traits include low self-esteem, a more codependent or dependent nature, and being overly concerned or obsessive with the state of a relationship or with the partner involved.
This effect would be similar to being oversensitive to potential harm from the environment. If problems are detected early, there is a better chance of intervention to preserve the relationship. We next hypothesized a negative correlation between unmitigated agency and infidelity perceptions. The also support this hypothesis. Unmitigated agency is said to be correlated with traits such as hostility, greed, and arrogance and with being overly concerned with oneself.
Third, we hypothesized that there would be no correlation between agency and perceived infidelity as a result of the emotional security of individuals scoring high in agency, and this hypothesis was supported. Agency individuals are characteristically confident, and as a result we expected no extreme of items checked or unchecked on the infidelity questionnaire, as their views of infidelity are more than likely more realistic than the other gender-related trait perceptions. Finally, we examined the correlation between communion and infidelity perceptions. We were unsure of the relationship that communion would have with these perceptions.
As the indicate, communion was positively correlated with infidelity perceptions. A potential cause for the positive correlation could be that those scoring high on communion are overinvolved or overindulgent in their relationships, much like the obsessiveness of unmitigated communion individuals. It is also possible that communion serves a priming factor for relationships that makes individuals high in this trait more sensitive to both the positive and negative aspects of their relationships.Sexual fidelity definition
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What is infidelity? Perceptions based on biological sex and personality