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Sex Differences in Implicit Association and Attentional Demands for Information about Infidelity1:

Sex Differences in Implicit Association and Attentional Demands for Information about Infidelity1: Sex differences in reaction to a romantic partner's infidelity are well documented and are hypothesized to be attributable to sex-specific jealousy mechanisms that solve sex specific adaptive problems. There have been few cognitive-based investigations of jealousy, however. Here we investigated sex differences in implicit processing of jealousy-based information. In Experiment 1, we used the implicit association test (IAT) to investigate sex-differentiated biases in classifying sexual or emotional infidelity information as being positive or negative. Men made significantly more errors when asked to classify as pleasant, words indicating sexual infidelity. In Experiment 2, we modified the Stroop task to include words that depicted infidelity-related topics in three priming conditions: sexual infidelity priming, emotional infidelity priming, and a no priming control. Men were significantly slower to respond after being primed with sexual infidelity scenarios. The effect of sexual infidelity priming was not word-category specific, suggesting that cognition about a partner's sexual infidelity hijacks general cognitive and attentional processing. These findings suggest that men may automatically classify information about sexual infidelity as negative and that the automatic negative processing of sexual infidelity takes precedent over other types of immediate cognition. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Evolutionary Psychology SAGE

Sex Differences in Implicit Association and Attentional Demands for Information about Infidelity1:

Sex Differences in Implicit Association and Attentional Demands for Information about Infidelity1:

Evolutionary Psychology , Volume 5 (3): 1 – Jul 1, 2007

Abstract

Sex differences in reaction to a romantic partner's infidelity are well documented and are hypothesized to be attributable to sex-specific jealousy mechanisms that solve sex specific adaptive problems. There have been few cognitive-based investigations of jealousy, however. Here we investigated sex differences in implicit processing of jealousy-based information. In Experiment 1, we used the implicit association test (IAT) to investigate sex-differentiated biases in classifying sexual or emotional infidelity information as being positive or negative. Men made significantly more errors when asked to classify as pleasant, words indicating sexual infidelity. In Experiment 2, we modified the Stroop task to include words that depicted infidelity-related topics in three priming conditions: sexual infidelity priming, emotional infidelity priming, and a no priming control. Men were significantly slower to respond after being primed with sexual infidelity scenarios. The effect of sexual infidelity priming was not word-category specific, suggesting that cognition about a partner's sexual infidelity hijacks general cognitive and attentional processing. These findings suggest that men may automatically classify information about sexual infidelity as negative and that the automatic negative processing of sexual infidelity takes precedent over other types of immediate cognition.

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © 2022 by SAGE Publications Inc., unless otherwise noted. Manuscript content on this site is licensed under Creative Commons Licenses
ISSN
1474-7049
eISSN
1474-7049
DOI
10.1177/147470490700500307
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Sex differences in reaction to a romantic partner's infidelity are well documented and are hypothesized to be attributable to sex-specific jealousy mechanisms that solve sex specific adaptive problems. There have been few cognitive-based investigations of jealousy, however. Here we investigated sex differences in implicit processing of jealousy-based information. In Experiment 1, we used the implicit association test (IAT) to investigate sex-differentiated biases in classifying sexual or emotional infidelity information as being positive or negative. Men made significantly more errors when asked to classify as pleasant, words indicating sexual infidelity. In Experiment 2, we modified the Stroop task to include words that depicted infidelity-related topics in three priming conditions: sexual infidelity priming, emotional infidelity priming, and a no priming control. Men were significantly slower to respond after being primed with sexual infidelity scenarios. The effect of sexual infidelity priming was not word-category specific, suggesting that cognition about a partner's sexual infidelity hijacks general cognitive and attentional processing. These findings suggest that men may automatically classify information about sexual infidelity as negative and that the automatic negative processing of sexual infidelity takes precedent over other types of immediate cognition.

Journal

Evolutionary PsychologySAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2007

Keywords: jealousy; infidelity; sex differences; sexual infidelity; emotional infidelity; Stroop; Implicit Association Test

References