Relational Motives Reduce Attentional Adhesion to Attractive Alternatives in Heterosexual University Students in China
- 213 Downloads
In heterosexual individuals, attention is automatically captured by physically attractive members of the opposite sex. Although helpful for selecting new mates, attention to attractive relationship alternatives can threaten satisfaction with and commitment to an existing romantic relationship. The current study tested the hypothesis that although a mating prime would increase selective attention to attractive opposite-sex targets (relative to less attractive targets) among single participants, this effect would be reduced among people already committed to a long-term romantic partner. Consistent with hypotheses, whereas single participants responded to a mating prime with greater attentional adhesion to physically attractive opposite-sex targets (relative to less attractive targets), participants in a committed romantic relationship showed no such effect. These findings extend previous research suggesting the presence of relationship maintenance mechanisms that operate at early stages of social cognition.
KeywordsAttention Romantic relationships Relationship maintenance Mating Physical attractiveness
This research was supported by the MOE Project of Key Research Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences at Universities (15JJDZONGHE022), China.
- Gonzaga, G., & Haselton, M. G. (2008). The evolution of love and long-term bonds. In J. P. Forgas & J. Fitness (Eds.), Social relationships: Cognitive, affective, and motivational processes (pp. 39–53). New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Hurtado, A. M., & Hill, K. R. (1992). Paternal effect on offspring survivorship among Ache and Hiwi hunter-gatherers: Implications for modeling pair-bond stability. In B. S. Hewlett (Ed.), Father-child relations: Cultural and biosocial contexts (pp. 31–55). New York: de Gruyter.Google Scholar
- Kelley, H. H., & Thibaut, J. W. (1978). Interpersonal relations: A theory of interdependence. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Lydon, J. E., Burton, K., & Menzies-Toman, D. (2005). Commitment calibration with the relationship cognition toolbox. In M. Baldwin (Ed.), Handbook of interpersonal cognition (pp. 126–152). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- McMillan, J. (2006). Sex, science and morality in China. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Mellen, S. L. (1981). The evolution of love. Oxford: WH Freeman.Google Scholar
- Peplau, L. A., Fingerhut, A., & Beals, K. P. (2004). Sexuality in the relationships of lesbians and gay men. In J. H. Harvey, A. Wenzel, S., & S. Sprecher (Eds.), Handbook of sexuality in close relationships (pp. 349–369). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Pillsworth, E. G., & Haselton, M. G. (2006). Women’s sexual strategies: The evolution of long-term bonds and extrapair sex. Annual Review of Sex Research, 17, 59–100.Google Scholar
- Rusbult, C. E., Arriaga, X. B., & Agnew, C. R. (2001). Interdependence in close relationships. In G. J. O. Fletcher & M. S. Clark (Eds.), Blackwell handbook of social psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 359–387). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar