A study in the UK investigated the relationship between dark triad personalities and what is considered infidelity in exclusive romantic relationships. The results showed that people with higher levels of psychopathy were more likely to perceive as infidelity fantasizing about sexual relationships with others and expressing emotions to people other than their partners. But among high-Machiavellians a different pattern emerged.
This research personality and individual differences.
Cheating, being unfaithful to a spouse or romantic partner, is a serious threat to committed and exclusive romantic relationships. Sexual intercourse with someone who is not a romantic partner is generally considered the epitome of infidelity, but public displays of affection and the exchange of affectionate messages There is not much agreement as to whether such behavior also constitutes infidelity.
One group of factors to consider when investigating inter-individual differences with respect to infidelity are personality traits, particularly dark triads.The Dark Triad is made up of the following personality traits Machiavellianism (tendency to act and think in an overly manipulative and calculating way), psychopath (tending to exhibit impulsive, thrill-seeking behavior and little empathy for others), and narcissism (tendency to feel entitled, dominant, and superior to others).
To examine whether differences in these personality traits help explain individual differences in views about what constitutes infidelity in a romantic relationship, study author Gail Brewer and colleagues at the University of Liverpool asked 18-year-olds A group of 664 people aged from to 73 were studied. Of the sample, 436 participants were female and 71.7% identified as heterosexual. Participants were recruited “through social networks and the UK University’s participation points scheme”.
Participants completed a series of demographic measures, Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy assessments. They also completed an assessment of perceived infidelity (Infidelity Perception Questionnaire), to which the study authors made certain adjustments. Ask them to rate whether and to what extent they constitute infidelity on a scale of 1 (definitely not infidelity) to 4 (definitely infidelity). What is listed is “Have an intimate and emotional conversation on the phone with someone other than your partner” Also “Masturbate while using a computer with someone other than your partner.”
The results showed that the behaviors listed in the perceived assessment of infidelity could be categorized into five groups – online adultery, consisting of actions such as “receiving pictures from online contacts” or “masturbating while communicating with others online”; imaginary infidelityconsisting of “predominantly solitary and sexually driven behaviors (e.g., ‘watching pornographic movies’), including fantasizing about other people”, emotional infidelity, Consists of “expressing emotional attachment to a third party that may not necessarily have a romantic component (e.g., ‘forming an intimate emotional bond with someone other than your partner’)” sexual infidelitywhich includes explicit and interactive sexual behavior with someone who is not a romantic partner, and finally, hidden attachmentsconsisting of feelings of attraction to someone other than one’s partner, but which remain unexpressed and unfulfilled (“being in a committed monogamous relationship while hiding emotional attachment ”).
In general, behavior in the sexual infidelity group was viewed as infidelity by most participants, followed by behavior belonging to the online infidelity group. The behavior of the imaginary infidelity group was not viewed by most people as representing infidelity in reality, although opinions about emotional infidelity and hidden attachments were divided. There was clearly a tendency to regard them as unfaithful.
Considering dark triad personality traits, results showed that individuals with high Machiavellianism were less likely to perceive the behavior of the fanciful and emotional infidelity groups as infidelity, whereas the primary The opposite was true for those with high psychopathic scores.
“Primary psychopathy is associated with greater emotional jealousy,” the authors of the study wrote. In addition, primary psychopaths are characterized by lower levels of empathy and perspective. A person with a high SI understands their partner’s motives for sexual fantasies (such as sexual release) and emotional relationships with others (such as dating), and avoids other behaviors that more directly jeopardize this. It can be difficult to separate the main relationship.”
However, people with high primary psychopathy the following Sexual infidelity and covert attachment group behavior are more likely to be viewed as infidelity. It may reflect a greater tendency to justify behavior,” the researchers said.
Narcissism and secondary psychopathy were not associated with perceptions of infidelity.
This study makes an important contribution to our knowledge of the psychological mechanisms of romantic relationships. However, it should be noted that it relies solely on self-reported measures and does not take into account the person’s romantic relationship characteristics. Furthermore, it didn’t take into account that people may have different views about what kinds of actions are allowed. What is considered infidelity by yourself and your partner.
“But It Wasn’t Actually Cheating”: Dark Triad Traits and Infidelity Perceptions,” was authored by Gayle Brewer, Alexandra Guothova, and Dimitris Tsivilis.