Personality, situation, and infidelity in romantic relationships
The three essays of this dissertation deal with several aspects of sexual infidelity in romantic relationships. While I investigate the importance of sexual fidelity as a mate selection criterion in the first essay, the second essay gives an overview over the published research on antecedents of infidelity. Consequently, I propose an integrative model of infidelity which is tested and partially confirmed with longitudinal data in the final essay.
Certain characteristics of people, denoted by mate selection criteria, are assumed to play a crucial role in guiding one's decision for or against a person as a mate. In the first essay, I investigated to what extent social desirability influences ratings on the relative importance of certain mate selection criteria (research goal 1), how the importance of mate selection criteria differs due to biological sex and sexual orientation (research goal 2), and to what extent mate selection criteria are reflected in actual mate selection processes (research goal 3). There was partial evidence that the importance of socially undesirable criteria like physical attractiveness, income, and sexual skills is under-reported when the measure is direct self-report. When measured with a policy-capturing design on the other hand, a method that allows to control for effects of social desirability, seemingly unimportant characteristics (like income and sexual skill) gained importance. Furthermore, sex differences in the relative importance of physical attractiveness (men>women), income, and generosity (men
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