Mariko L. Visserman, Department of Social and Organizational Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Johan C. Karremans, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Romantic relationship status biases the processing of an attractive alternative's behavior
Article first published online: 7 MAY 2014
Copyright © 2014 IARR
Volume 21, Issue 2, pages 324–334, June 2014
How to Cite
VISSERMAN, M. L. and KARREMANS, J. C. (2014), Romantic relationship status biases the processing of an attractive alternative's behavior. Personal Relationships, 21: 324–334. doi: 10.1111/pere.12035
- Issue published online: 9 JUN 2014
- Article first published online: 7 MAY 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 17 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Received: 17 JUL 2013
The present research examines whether romantically involved individuals process behavioral information of attractive alternatives in a biased manner. When presented with behavioral information of an attractive mate, in Study 1 involved (vs. uninvolved) participants tended to recall fewer positive behaviors of an attractive alternative. Study 2 demonstrated that involved participants recalled more negative behaviors, and also evaluated these behaviors more negatively, compared to uninvolved participants. Study 3 demonstrated that romantically involved participants recalled more negative (but also neutral) behaviors when it concerned behaviors displayed by an attractive alternative as compared to a same-sex other. These findings provide initial evidence for biased processing of behavioral information of an alternative mate, which may serve an important relationship protection function.