Understanding Variations in Judgments of Infidelity: An Application of Attribution Theory

Ashley E. Thompson, Lucia F. O’Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The current program of research examined how the four dimensions of the attribution (locus of causality, controllability, stability, intentionality) influenced judgments of a partner’s hypothetical infidelity and actor-observer discrepancies associated with judgments of real-life infidelity. The results from Study 1 (N = 396) revealed that the dimensions of the attribution affected the extent to which adults’ judged a partner’s hypothetical behavior as indicative of infidelity differently depending on the type of behavior. When reporting on real-life behavior (Study 2, N = 802), adults attributed the cause of their partner’s infidelity as being a result of internal, controllable, stable, and intentional causes to a greater extent than when judging their own infidelity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-276
Number of pages15
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2017

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Taylor & Francis.


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