Can Empathy Reduce The Temptation To Cheat In Relationships?

Can Empathy Reduce The Temptation To Cheat

Psychology News

A team of researchers at Reichman University, Israel, explored ways to reduce the temptation to cheat in intimate relationships. The study is published in the Journal of Sex Research.

Why Do People Cheat On Their Partners?

Previous research has already highlighted that people cheat in relationships due to several factors. These may include relationship dissatisfaction, a lack of an emotional connection, personal insecurity, a spontaneous grabbing of the opportunity to cheat, or an act of retaliation for a partner’s infidelity or other hurtful behavior.

The Study

The present study explored how to reduce the temptation to cheat. The researchers conducted a series of three double-blind, randomized experiments with 408 participants in monogamous, heterosexual relationships.

They were randomly assigned to adopt their partners’ perspectives and evaluate attractive strangers. Their expressions of interest and commitment to their current partners were recorded.

The Findings

The results revealed that empathy can reduce the temptation to cheat in romantic relationships. Adopting a partner’s perspective in romantic relationships can increase commitment and loyalty for the partner and decrease the risks of infidelity.

This perspective-taking also promotes understanding, closeness, and caring between partners, thereby resulting in long-term, more successful relationships.

The authors added: “People invariably feel better understood, and that makes it easier to resolve disagreements, to be appropriate but not intrusively helpful, and to share joys and accomplishments. It’s one of those skills that can help people see the ‘us’ — rather than the ‘me and you’ — in a relationship.

To Know More You May Refer To

Birnbaum, G. E., Bachar, T., Levy, G. F., Zholtack, K., & Reis, H. T. (2022). Put Me in Your Shoes: Does Perspective-Taking Inoculate Against the Appeal of Alternative Partners?. Journal of sex research, 1–10. Advance online publication.

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