Why We Choose to Remain Faithful
2019-05-01 22:14

Research suggests that between 11% and 69% of North Americans in a long-term relationship have cheated on their spouse.


This is a sizable proportion, and so it should not be surprising that psychologists are interested in discovering why people cheat.


Still, most studies indicate that the vast majority of us do not cheat. Research into the reasons why people remain faithful may be overdue.


Menelaos Apostelou and Rafaella Panayiotou of the University of Nicosia in Cyprus decided to correct this oversight, in their paper published this month in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

(但是)塞浦路斯(地中海东部)尼科西亚大学的Menelaos Apostelou andRafaella Panayiotou决定改变这种忽视。他们本月在期刊《性格与个体差异》(Personality and Individual Differences)发表了这方面的论文,论文是这个月出版的

To Cheat or Not to Cheat


Apostelou and Panayiotou began by considering the reasons people might cheat, in the hopes that this might shed some light on why some do not. Some people cheat because they want to leave their current partner but do not feel confident to do so until they have found a new partner. Others, perhaps also sensing their relationship is coming to an end, dip their toes into the pool of potential partners to get a better idea of their own attractiveness.

Apostelou Panayiotou 从思考人们出轨的潜在原因出发开始探索,希望这样能弄明白为何有些人选择忠诚安守本分。有些人出轨是因为他们想离开现任的配偶,但又不够自信,得等到找到新的伴侣搭档才敢坦白。有些人出轨,或许同样也是因为感觉到他们伴侣关系快完蛋了,而想试探准伴侣搭档的看法,以便更好了解自己是否还有魅力。

There may also be gendered advantages to cheating. For example, while women are constrained in the number of offspring they can produce by the necessity of a lengthy pregnancy, men can have offspring with as many fertile women as they can woo. Therefore, this may be a motivation for men (or at least for our male ancestors, who lived and loved in the days before contraception). Meanwhile, because men are less demanding of physical attractiveness in a short-term rather than a long-term partner, women are better able to compete for sexual access to highly attractive men if they don’t demand that those men commit to a relationship. So, women may be motivated to cheat on their less attractive spouses if they can expect a fling with a hottie.


But cheating is risky, and people are probably less likely to stray if there is a good chance they will be caught (they may suffer violence or reputational damage) or if cheating is too costly (it takes too much time, effort, or money).


These costs are also likely to be gendered, with women more likely than men to be assaulted or murdered by a long-term partner who suspects infidelity and a greater stigma attached to women who cheat.


47 Reasons


Apostelou and Panayiotou interviewed 40 men and women about why a person might choose not to cheat on their partner. After discarding duplicate or similar reasons, the researchers were left with a list of 47 reasons. These reasons were as diverse as “I love my partner” to “I have not met someone attractive enough to do it” and “I fear my partner would do the same.”

关于为什么人们选择对伴侣保持忠诚会对其配偶安守本分,Apostelou and Panayiotou采访了40位男性和女性男女。去掉重复的和相似的原因之后,研究人员者们整理出了一张清单,列出47个理由。这些理由各式各样,从“我爱我伴侣”到“我还没有遇到魅力足够让我出轨的人有足够吸引力的人让我这样做,再到“我害怕我的伴侣也会出轨会做同样的事情”等等。

To impose some sort of order on this exhaustive list, the psychologists then asked almost 600 new volunteers to review the 47 reasons and rate how likely each would be to deter them from cheating on their own partners.

为了为了给这张详尽的理由清单排序给这张详尽的表单上列出的47个理由排上先后顺序,心理学家们又邀请了将近600 新志愿者重新审查来复审这47个理由,对每个理由能够阻止人们对伴侣出轨的机率进行评估人不会出轨的可能性比率有多大做了评估

This method allowed Apostelou and Panayiotou to see which reasons tended to go together. They found that the 47 reasons reliably clustered into eight groups—or overarching reasons—for not cheating.

通过这种做法Apostelou Panayiotou可以了解弄明白哪些理由比较接近集中。他们发现这47个理由确切地可以确切地归为8大类,或者说是人们选择不出轨的 8大最重要的人们不出轨的理由。

The Faithful Eight


The most important reason why people choose not to cheat is that they are satisfied with their current relationship. People whose partners treated them well, who didn’t want to hurt their partner, or who didn’t want to risk destroying their relationship were most confident that they would not cheat.


The next most important reason was that cheating would induce feelings of guilt. People who didn’t want to lie or live a double-life and who would feel ashamed or that they had betrayed their partner, were strongly against cheating.


These two reasons were also the only reasons for which Apostelou and Panayiotou found a sex difference: Women were more likely than men to report not wanting to cheat because they were satisfied with their relationship and didn’t want to feel guilty.

Apostelou Panayiotou发现唯独上面两个原因有性别差异:女性比男性更不愿意出轨,有可能说不想出轨因为她们对夫妻关系很满意,不想有内疚感。

The third most important reason was a fear of retaliatory infidelity—that cheating might lead the partner to cheat too. The fourth reason was a lack of provocation or a triggering event. These people said they didn’t cheat because their partner hadn’t given them cause, or they hadn’t been tempted.


The fifth strongest reason was a fear of the partner’s reaction should the cheater be caught, and the sixth was a fear of public shame, perhaps because of social or religious norms prohibiting infidelity.


The seventh reason for not cheating was a fear of trouble, such as the discomfort of confessing to the partner or to relatives and friends, or even a fear of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. And the final and least important reason was fear of social stigma, what a person worried their wider social group or society would think of them.


It is clear that many of the reasons are similar: The four lowest ranked reasons are concerned with the reactions of others and of the cheater’s feelings about the reactions of others. It is surprising that the effects of gender were not more prevalent. For example, we might expect that women would be more concerned by their partner’s reaction and by social stigma, but this did not appear to be the case.


Apostelou and Panayiotou also point out that “people may not have an accurate understanding of the reasons which prevent them from cheating,” which, if true, might mean that the original list of 47 reasons was not complete or entirely accurate.

同时Apostelou Panayiotou 指出:“人们可能并可能没有理解他们为什么要保持忠诚安分守己。 如果是这样的话,就意味着最初的 47 个理由清单并不完整或者并不完全准确那张调查清单上列举的47个原因也不完全是正确的

Nevertheless, it is perhaps reassuring to know that your partner is least likely to cheat on you if you’re kind and supportive. And people say relationships are complicated…


6 +1
5 条评论