Experimental manipulation of psychological mechanisms responsive to female infidelity.
Starratt, V. G., McKibbin, W. F., & Shackelford, T. K.
Recent research indicates that men may have evolved mechanisms dedicated to detecting and responding to the risk of partner inﬁdelity. Because activation of these ‘‘anti-cuckoldry’’ mechanisms depends onpartner inﬁdelity, or the perception of partner inﬁdelity, existing evidence for suchmechanisms relies oncorrelational data. The current study tests several predictions regarding men’s anti-cuckoldry mecha-nisms in an experimental design. As predicted, the results demonstrated: (1a) experimental activation of men’s anti-cuckoldry mechanisms by presenting them with a vignette depicting a female partner’s sexual inﬁdelity; (1b) no activation of men’s anti-cuckoldry mechanisms by presenting them with a vignette depicting a sexual encounter without female inﬁdelity; (2) experimental activation of men’s anti-cuckoldry mechanisms was inﬂuenced by their perceived risk of partner inﬁdelity; and (3) women were not inﬂuenced by the partner inﬁdelity manipulation.