Implicit Partner Attitudes and Attention to Attractive Alternatives

Borovik, K. (Macquarie University), Boag, S. (Macquarie University), Fitness, J., (Macquarie University)

The aim of this presentation is to consider whether implicit attitudes towards romantic partners are associated with automatic attentional biases regarding attractive relationship alternatives. One online study will be reported that assessed (1) participants’ implicit partner attitude; (2) participants’ explicit partner attitude; and (3) participants’ tendency to automatically disengage attention from photos of attractive-opposite sex faces (N = 374). The results indicate that individuals with more positive explicit partner attitudes are faster to disengage attention from attractive alternatives. However, contrary to our hypothesis, individuals with more positive implicit partner attitudes are slower to disengage attention from attractive alternatives. Implicit partner attitudes are not associated with an individual’s explicit partner attitude. The fact that both implicit and explicit partner attitudes were related to attentional disengagement, albeit in different directions, is suggestive of the important role of partner attitudes in attentional biases to attractive alternatives. Possible explanations for these findings and future directions for research on implicit cognition in romantic relationships will be outlined.

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—- TYREE —–
Close Relationships and Individual Differences