I only have eyes for you. Study reveals how we unconsciously see attractive people unfavorably when our hearts are compromised.
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No wonder, although there seem to be many, we no longer see cases of infidelity.
After all, with the eroticization of the media and the temptations of lazing around, the opportunities don't cease.
Even meeting dozens of people a day, many of them very interesting, what keeps us committed to our current partners?
According to a new study, when we are bound in a relationship we see people who might threaten our happiness as less attractive.
The research was done in partnership between Rutgers University and New York University (United States).
This perception, which runs away from reality, may represent an unconscious method of self-control that helps keep marital coexistence stable.
In previous studies, participants knew they were judging appearances and giving notes about other people.
In this research, for the first time we sought to analyze implicit, or unconscious, clues that help couples stay together.
In the first experiment, 131 volunteers observed images of people of the opposite sex with whom they should work as a team,
Each participant read the file of the judged persons, which included the marital status.
Then everyone had to associate the photos of the people being analyzed with other images.
These other images have been manipulated to be more or less attractive than the original photographs.
As a result, those in stable relationships who had information that the person analyzed was single and therefore a potential threat found her less attractive.
This “downgrading” of the image of beautiful people considered a threat to marital stability came even with the promise of a cash prize for those who selected the most attractive participants.
According to one of the study's co-authors, Dr. Shana Cole, "This is especially important since finding someone physically attractive is the first reason people decide to make an appointment."
Further studies are needed to understand why this phenomenon occurs.
But the reason seems clear.
Scientists consider the altered perception of the appearance of people threatening our happiness to be an evolutionary trait.
The fact is, with more faithful couples, our species found a greater chance of survival.
The study was published in the scientific journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.