Temptation pervades modern social life, including the temptation to engage in infidelity. The present investigation examines one factor that may put individuals at a greater risk of being unfaithful to their partner: dispositional avoidant attachment style. The authors hypothesize that avoidantly attached people may be less resistant to temptations for infidelity due to lower levels of commitment in romantic relationships. This hypothesis was confirmed in 8 studies. People with high, vs. low, levels of dispositional avoidant attachment had more permissive attitudes toward infidelity (Study 1), showed attentional bias toward attractive alternative partners (Study 2), expressed greater daily interest in meeting alternatives to their current relationship partner (Study 5), perceived alternatives to their current relationship partner more positively (Study 6), and engaged in more infidelity over time (Studies 3, 4, 7, and 8). This effect was mediated by lower levels of commitment (Studies 5-8). Thus, avoidant attachment predicted a broad spectrum of responses indicative of interest in alternatives and propensity to engage in infidelity, which were mediated by low levels of commitment.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Journal of Personality and Social Psychology|
|State||Published - Dec 2011|
- Attachment style
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science