Partner commitment moderates the association between commitment and interest in romantic alternatives

Yoobin Park, Sun Woong Park

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Abstract

Previous studies have shown that individuals who are committed to their relationship are less interested in romantic alternatives. This research examined whether the negative association between commitment and interest in alternative partners depends on the level of partner’s commitment. In Study 1, married individuals (N = 289) completed questionnaires assessing their commitment, perceptions of their partner’s commitment, and two indicators of interest in alternatives. We found that committed individuals’ tendency to remain inattentive to alternatives and to report fewer infidelity experiences was significantly weaker among individuals who perceived their partner to be low (vs. high) in commitment. In Study 2, we recruited both members of married couples (N = 156) and replicated the moderating effect of partner commitment using the partner’s self-reports. Our findings suggest that how committed the partner is, or is perceived to be, can play an important role in committed individuals’ faithfulness, highlighting the dyadic processes of relationship maintenance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2018 Jan 1

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Keywords

  • Commitment asymmetry
  • Commitment mutuality
  • Extramarital relationship
  • Infidelity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

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