Forbidden fruit: inattention to attractive alternatives provokes implicit relationship reactance.

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TitleForbidden fruit: inattention to attractive alternatives provokes implicit relationship reactance.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume100
Issue4
Pagination621-9
ISSN0022-3514
Abstract

Being inattentive to attractive relationship alternatives can enhance relationship well-being. The current investigation, however, demonstrates that implicitly preventing people from attending to desirable relationship alternatives may undermine, rather than bolster, the strength of that person's romantic relationship. Consistent with the notion of "forbidden fruit," we found that subtly limiting people's attention to attractive alternatives reduced relationship satisfaction and commitment and increased positive attitudes toward infidelity (Experiment 1), increased memory for attractive relationship alternatives (Experiment 2), and increased attention to attractive alternatives (Experiment 3). Findings suggest that although attention to attractive alternatives can harm one's relationship, situations that implicitly limit one's attention to alternatives can, rather ironically, increase the temptation of alternatives and undermine relationship well-being.

URLhttp://content.apa.org/journals/psp/100/4/621
DOI10.1037/a0021749
Short TitleJ Pers Soc Psychol
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