Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Cues to Infidelity

  • Maryanne L. FisherEmail author
  • Ashley Tiller
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1729-1



Cues that signal one’s engagement in a romantic/emotional and/or sexual relationship with someone external to the primary relationship.


Infidelity is typically defined as an act that breaks the agreement of monogamy between two individuals who are dating, married, or in a committed relationship (e.g., Hertlein et al. 2009). Infidelity may be emotional and/or sexual in nature and entail involvement with someone outside of the primary relationship, such that there is a breaching of a subjective contract that the couple created (Fish et al. 2012). People engaging in infidelity typically define it themselves as “cheating” on their partner (Walters and Burger 2013).

Infidelity is a well-studied topic within the psychology literature. This attention is not surprising given that it may have harmful consequences for all parties (Altgelt et al. 2018). It is linked to...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySaint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Brian B Boutwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Saint Louis UniversitySaint LouisUSA