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Guest Thinkers

Don’t Restrain the Wandering Eye

People in romantic relationships are often tempted to block their partners from seeing attractive alternatives, but a new study suggests that this strategy may backfire.

Psychologists at the University of Kentucky and Florida State University conducted several experiments with students who reported being in a relationship. The students were given a computer task that simultaneously presented them with photos of attractive and average-looking individuals of the opposite sex. Some of the students were prompted to focus their attention almost exclusively on the average-looking individual. After this task, the students whose attention had been directed towards the average-looking individual reported being less satisfied and committed—and more accepting of infidelity—with regard to their relationships.


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