The goal of the current study was to examine whether perspective-taking could be an effective method for reducing the actor-observer bias seen in judgments of infidelity. Specifically, 708 adults judged the extent to which 32 behaviors were indicative of infidelity after being assigned to one of nine conditions in which the person engaging in infidelity (actor, partner, stranger) and the perspective-taking instructions (perspective-taking, stay objective, no instructions) were manipulated. Overall, the actor-observer and perspective-taking manipulations significantly affected judgments of the technology/online and solitary forms of infidelity. Adults in the perspective-taking condition judged their partner’s and a stranger’s technology/online behaviors as less indicative of infidelity than their own and their partner’s solitary behaviors as more indicative of infidelity than their own or a stranger’s. These results indicate that perspective-taking impacts infidelity judgments but only for certain behaviors. Implications and recommendations are outlined for clinicians and researchers working with and studying romantic couples.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis.
- Actor-observer bias
- romantic relationships