An experimental investigation of accounts and attributions following sexual infidelity

Paul Mongeau, Jerold L. Hale, Marmy Alles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study experimentally investigated accounts and attributions following sexual infidelity. Hypotheses predicted that differences in the infidelity (i.e., intent and revenge) would influence attributions about, and accounts generated to explain, the infidelity. Specific predictions also linked account production to attribution patterns. Students read a scenario that described a sexual infidelity performed by either a male or female, either intentionally or unintentionally, and being either revenge-driven or not driven by revenge. Results indicate that revenge had a strong impact on attributions and accounts, whereas intent only inversely influenced the production of guilt. Relationships between accounts and attributions were consistent with predictions; however, the account category of silence reflected strong levels of responsibility, blame, and guilt yet was interpreted as quite aggravating. Consistent with traditional and modern sexual double standards, findings indicated sex differences in both accounts and attributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-344
Number of pages19
JournalCommunication Monographs
Volume61
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

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attribution
retaliation
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guilt
Sexual
Attribution
scenario
responsibility
Revenge
student
Guilt
Prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

Cite this

An experimental investigation of accounts and attributions following sexual infidelity. / Mongeau, Paul; Hale, Jerold L.; Alles, Marmy.

In: Communication Monographs, Vol. 61, No. 4, 1994, p. 326-344.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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