What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him (or me): Verbal responses and attributions following sexual infidelity

Paul Mongeau, Bobbi E. Schulz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This experimental investigation focused on attributions and verbal responses (either a description of events or an account) presented to one's partner after a sexual infidelity. Motivation to maintain the relationship and the reproacher's knowledge of the transgression were varied to investigate their impact on the type, honesty of, and attributional information in verbal responses. Results indicated that accounts were much more prevalent, and much more honest, as the partner's knowledge of the transgression increased. The moderate knowledge condition was consistently troubling for participants who wanted to be apologetic in case their partner knew of the transgression yet not to give away too much information in case they did not. Motivation to maintain the relationship influenced both accounts and attributions as participants interested in maintaining the relationship felt more guilty and more blameworthy for their actions and presented kinder verbal responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Phytoremediation
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Plant Science

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