• Judgements of cross-sex infidelity responses as a component of mating intelligence

      Johnson, John D. (2007-04-26)
      Mating Intelligence (MI; (Geher, 2005) is operationally defined as the ability to correctly guess the mating relevant thoughts of mates or potential mates. This study focuses on one specific aspect of MI, known as infidelity mating intelligence. Infidelity mating intelligence or IMI is defined as the ability to make accurate predictions regarding what members of the opposite sex will judge as most distressing when faced with a variety of infidelity situations. Four-hundred-eighty-one participants (152 males and 329 females) participated in this research. Participants were asked to judge what types of infidelity they themselves felt would be more distressing in an intimate relationship. Participants were also asked to act as other-raters (make predictions about what types of infidelity they thought the opposite gender would identify as being more distressing in intimate relationships). All participants were also tested on several other mating intelligence (MI) variables as well as on several criterion variables. Infidelity mating intelligence (IMI) was significantly positively correlated with cognitive and emotional intelligence for females and cognitive intelligence for males. It was also found that males tended to report being more distressed by a mate’s sexual infidelity and females tended to report being more distressed over a mate’s emotional infidelity. Additionally, some interesting post hoc findings were found. Males and females differed in their overall responses to infidelity in systematic ways. Males tended to overestimate the degree to which females would choose emotional infidelity as more distressing based on Chi Square analysis. This is a stereotypical response of males according to research. Males assume that females will be more stressed by emotional aspects of infidelity to a greater extent than females typically are. Females tended to also overestimate the degree to which males would choose emotional infidelity as more distressing based on Chi Square analysis. In other words, females tended to show social projection when judging responses of men, meaning that females think that males would think more like females do when making judgments regarding infidelity. Implications for research in this area are discussed.