Entries in attribution (4)


Social Networks, Commitment, and True Blood: Who Forgives a Vampire?

You might assume that relationship science doesn’t have much to say about vampire romances, but you would be wrong. Previously, we wrote about the Sookie/Bill/Eric love triangle, but relationship research explains some of the other complex relationships on True Blood as well. 

One of the reoccurring storylines in Bon Temps is that Sookie’s best friend, Tara, doesn’t understand why Sookie continues to be attracted to her undead suitors (first Bill, then Eric), especially given all the trouble they’ve caused. Every time Bill makes a mess of things, Sookie forgives him. Why doesn’t Tara forgive Bill?

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Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater?

A reader recently submitted the following question:

I have been in the best relationship of my life for the past 6 months with a woman who caused me to believe in love at first sight. Everything has been perfect and she is exactly what I had always dreamed to find in someone, but deep inside I thought I would never meet a person like her. With everything being so great, I was shocked when she had told me that she cheated on a boyfriend whom she was with for two years. I would have never guessed she would be the person to do something like that. However, there are factors involved which I believe could have caused her to commit this act. First off, her boyfriend at the time told her he liked her best friend, secondly she was entering college where she would be introduced to a completely new world since she had lived in the same small town her entire life, another factor is that her boyfriend did not pay attention to her or show any sign of affection, and lastly she cheated on a night when she was at a party with a friend who ended up dating her after she ended the relationship. With all of this information, I want to know if I can trust her to not cheat on me. I have never loved anyone as much as her and I know she feels the exact same way, but at the same time I wouldn't have thought she would cheat. She is a very sweet caring person who is always smiling and laughing. Also she had never told anyone else about the scenario before, and was crying the whole time she told me. Should I worry about this, or listen to her and trust that she was less confident and took the wrong route in ending her relationship?

Thanks for your question. Overall, it sounds like your relationship is going really well, especially if she was comfortable enough to tell you about her past indiscretion. There are a lot of possible explanations for your girlfriend’s past cheating...

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The Blame Game: Why Financial Stress Hurts Some Couples but Not Others

Money troubles constitute one of the most common relationship stressors. Interestingly, some relationships are especially prone to problems during tough economic times. Why? It depends on what people believe to be the cause of their financial difficulties. When couples attribute their financial troubles to their partners, satisfaction is worse. But blaming oneself or the economy minimizes the negative effect financial troubles have on satisfaction. Thus, finding a scapegoat for money-trouble may protect couples’ relationships.

Diamond, L. M., & Hicks, A. M. (2011). “It’s the economy, honey!” Couples’ blame attributions during the 2007-2009 economic crisis. Personal Relationships. Article first published online: 16 AUG 2011, DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2011.01380.x

image source: visualphotos.com


Could You Forgive a Cheater? 

Everyone seems to agree that infidelity is just about the worst thing that can happen in a romantic relationship. In many societies across the world, adultery is more likely to end a relationship than infertility, personality conflicts, inadequate money, and conflicts with in-laws.1 Perhaps that’s also the reason why infidelity is a common reason for taking revenge against romantic partners.2

But not everyone’s experience with infidelity is the same. Some cheaters are forgiven, and some relationships actually survive.

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