Resisting Temptation Revisited: Devaluation versus Enhancement of an Attractive Suitor by Exclusive and Nonexclusive Daters

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Doris Bazzini Ph.D, Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Individuals committed to exclusive relationships often evaluate attractive, opposite-sex targets less favorably than do less committed individuals. This devaluative distortion of alternatives has been interpreted as relationship maintenance by exclusive daters. Two experiments evaluated an alternative hypothesis: Less committed individuals may more favorably evaluate attractive, other-sex targets because they are seeking a relationship. In Experiment 1, exclusive and nonexclusive daters imagined a scenario in which an attractive stranger showed interest in the participant (high threat/high opportunity) or in his or her best friend (low threat/low opportunity). In Experiment 2, exclusive and nonexclusive daters anticipated interacting with an attractive target who was either available/seeking a relationship (high threat/high opportunity) or unavailable for a relationship (low threat/low opportunity). As predicted, nonexclusive daters evaluated available targets more favorably than unavailable ones, showing clear evidence of relationship-seeking motives. However, exclusive daters showed little evidence of devaluing available targets in the interest of relationship maintenance.

Additional Information

Bazzini, D. G., & Shaffer, D. R. (1999). Resisting temptation revisited: Devaluation versus enhancement of an attractive suitor by exclusive and nonexclusive daters. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25(2): 162-176. (Feb 1999) Published by Sage (ISSN: 1552-7433) DOI:10.1177/0146167299025002003
Language: English
Date: 1999

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