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Abstract

Over evolutionary history, different benefits have been gained and lost from long-term mateships, friendships, and coalitions. Humans have evolved psychological mechanisms that are sensitive to cues to possible diversion of benefits to people outside the relationship. Mateships, friendships, and coalitions are predicted to share some of the same benefits but also to differ in some of the resources conferred. Accordingly, the psychological mechanisms sensitive to betrayal are predicted to operate in the same manner in those domains in which benefits are common across relationships and to operate differently in those domains in which benefits are unique to relationship type. Three interpersonal domains are investigated with regard to perceived betrayal: extra relationship intimate involvement, intrarelationship reciprocity, and relationship commitment. Eight hypotheses are tested across the three relationship domains via perceived betrayal judgments. Results support a model of betrayal entailing some degree of domain specificity but also some generality across domains.
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... If so, humans would be expected to vary predictably in terms 114 of the kinds of friendships we form and the ways in which we use these friendships, as a 115 function of some assessment of our own and others' traits as well as our own current needs. 116 Friendship appears to be a universal type of human social relationship (Fehr, 1996;117 Krappmann, 1996;Shackelford & Buss, 1996), and it is the only type of relationship in which 118 reciprocity is the single avenue by which individuals can obtain fitness benefits; in kin and 119 mating relationships, individuals additionally share genetic interests (or potential genetic 120 interests, in the case of mates without children). Thus, as used here, friendship refers to bonds 121 of affection and mutual liking formed between individuals who are not kin and not mating 122 partners (Shackelford & Buss, 1996). ...
... 116 Friendship appears to be a universal type of human social relationship (Fehr, 1996;117 Krappmann, 1996;Shackelford & Buss, 1996), and it is the only type of relationship in which 118 reciprocity is the single avenue by which individuals can obtain fitness benefits; in kin and 119 mating relationships, individuals additionally share genetic interests (or potential genetic 120 interests, in the case of mates without children). Thus, as used here, friendship refers to bonds 121 of affection and mutual liking formed between individuals who are not kin and not mating 122 partners (Shackelford & Buss, 1996). Friendship has been defined in various ways, but its key 123 features are that it is a specific bond between two (not more) individuals, in which no other can 124 substitute (Buysse, Goldman, West, & Hollingsworth, 2008;Krappmann, 1996;Ladd, 2005); that 125 there is a sense of equality between the friends (Allan, 1998); and that the friendship is 126 voluntary and involves mutual affection, liking, and enjoyment (Buysse et al., 2008;Fehr, 1996;. ...
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Many species employ conditional strategies for reproduction or survival. In other words, each individual “chooses” one of two or more possible phenotypes to maximize survival or reproductive advantage given specific ecological niche conditions (e.g., Moran, 1992). Humans seem to employ at least one conditional reproductive strategy, choosing between a more short-term or a more long-term mating strategy (Gangestad & Simpson, 2000), and as with non-human animals, their choices relate in part to an assessment of their own traits (Belsky, 1997; Schmitt, 2005). However, the selection pressures that individuals of a species can exert on each other are not restricted to mate selection; they can arise from many forms of social interaction (West-Eberhard, 1983; Wolf, Brodie, & Moore, 1999). Evidence suggests that individuals are sensitive to characteristics of the self, friend, and environmental conditions when choosing friends (Fehr, 1996; Rose, 1985; Verbrugge, 1977), and that a person’s economic, social, and environmental circumstances influence how they form and organize their friendships (Adams & Allan, 1998; Feld & Carter, 1998). Thus, in this paper I hypothesize that humans have evolved a coherent range of conditional friendship strategies: that we vary predictably in terms of the friendships we form, based on an assessment of our own traits, others’ traits, and our own current needs. I propose a continuum of individual differences in friendship strategy, anchored on one end by those who use friendships for exploration (e.g., skill-building and networking) and on the other end by those who use friendships for intimate exchange (e.g., emotional support and intimacy). I created a measure assessing this continuum, and found that men tended to report a stronger exploration strategy than women. I also found that people with a stronger exploration strategy also had a more short-term mating strategy and were more extroverted, and that people with a stronger intimate exchange strategy reported themselves to be more kind and generous; these results remained when controlling for gender. However, friendship strategy did not relate to socioeconomic status, age, attachment avoidance, relationship status, or presence of kin relationships. There was some evidence that friendship strategy was related to the number of friends an individual reported having and how close they felt to their friends.
... This need to ascertain peers' loyalty may help explain women's greater disclosure of their vulnerabilities and personal information within their friendships (Vigil, 2007). These intimate disclosures may function as commitment-ensuring devices because they increase one's vulnerability to the disclosure partner, thereby raising the costs of future defection (Hess, 2006;Shackelford & Buss, 1996). As exemplified in one ethnography of Australian female adolescents, "Much was invested in terms of personal intimacies and now each party to a disagreement has a considerable amount of 'dirt' on the other, ready to be shared with peers" (Owens et al., 2000, p. 80). ...
... Supporting that female disclosures signal interpersonal commitment, compared to men, women attribute more disloyalty to friends unwilling to divulge personal information (Felmlee et al., 2012;Shackelford & Buss, 1996). Such a pattern may suggest women rely on intimate disclosures, perhaps particularly reputation-harming ones, as indices of female friends' devotion to the friendship. ...
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Investigations of women’s same-sex relationships present a paradoxical pattern, with women generally disliking competition, yet also exhibiting signs of intrasexual rivalry. The current article leverages the historical challenges faced by female ancestors to understand modern women’s same-sex relationships. Across history, women were largely denied independent access to resources, often depending on male partners’ provisioning to support themselves and their children. Same-sex peers thus became women’s primary romantic rivals in competing to attract and retain relationships with the limited partners able and willing to invest. Modern women show signs of this competition, disliking and aggressing against those who threaten their romantic prospects, targeting especially physically attractive and sexually uninhibited peers. However, women also rely on one another for aid, information, and support. As most social groups were patrilocal across history, upon marriage, women left their families to reside with their husbands. Female ancestors likely used reciprocal altruism or mutualism to facilitate cooperative relationships with nearby unrelated women. To sustain these mutually beneficial cooperative exchange relationships, women may avoid competitive and status-striving peers, instead preferring kind, humble, and loyal allies. Ancestral women who managed to simultaneously compete for romantic partners while forming cooperative female friendships would have been especially successful. Women may therefore have developed strategies to achieve both competitive and cooperative goals, such as guising their intrasexual competition as prosociality or vulnerability. These historical challenges make sense of the seemingly paradoxical pattern of female aversion to competition, relational aggression, and valuation of loyal friends, offering insight into possible opportunities for intervention.
... Rather, they trust that their partners are committed to their welfare and will act in their best interests (Clark et al. 2001). However, high trust also means high risk, and vulnerability to the possibility that one's partner may cheat (e.g., by taking more resources than they invest; see Shackelford and Buss 1996). Such perceived inequities are a major cause of anger and marital dissatisfaction (Sprecher 2018). ...
... As noted previously, these qualities are also highly attractive in the dyadic context, whether one is "in the market" for a mating partner or a close friend (Barclay 2016). Similarly, in both social contexts there is the risk of false advertising, and in both contexts humans are finely attuned to the identification and punishment of cheats who threaten the welfare of the dyad or the group (Shackelford and Buss 1996;Van Vugt and Schaller 2008). ...
... The logic of tit-for-tat in a long-term relationship can be damaging because it implies low interdependence (Aktipis et al., 2018;Kim et al., 2019;Roberts, 2005). This can explain why subjects tend to repay favours from strangers more quickly than those from friends (Boster et al., 1995) and can take offenceand judge friendships as less closewhen friends immediately reciprocate kind acts (Shackelford & Buss, 1996;Silk, 2003) or give gifts with the expectation of adulation or return favours (Lee, 1969). ...
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Performing costly helpful behaviours can allow individuals to improve their reputation. Those who gain a good reputation are often preferred as interaction partners and are consequently better able to access support through cooperative relationships with others. But investing in prosocial displays can sometimes yield social costs: excessively generous individuals risk losing their good reputation, and even being vilified, ostracised or antisocially punished. As a consequence, people frequently try to downplay their prosocial actions or hide them from others. In this review, we explore when and why investments in prosocial behaviour are likely to yield social costs. We propose two key features of interactions that make it more likely that generous individuals will incur social costs when: (i) observers infer that helpful behaviour is motivated by strategic or selfish motives; and (ii) observers infer that helpful behaviour is detrimental to them. We describe how the cognition required to consider ulterior motives emerges over development and how these tendencies vary across cultures - and discuss how the potential for helpful actions to result in social costs might place boundaries on prosocial behaviour as well as limiting the contexts in which it might occur. We end by outlining the key avenues and priorities for future research.
... In fact, some of these rewards are lost, because they are now diverted to a third party outside the relationship, where more attraction in terms of rewards is now found (Buunk & Dijkstra, 2006). The offending party is also less motivated to put more energy, time, and effort into the current relationship, and even thinks about terminating (Fitness, 2001;Jones & Burdette, 1994;Shackelford & Buss, 1996). ...
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Infidelity has been a common dark‐side phenomenon in manufacturer–distributor (M–D) relationships, which, despite its harmful effects on operating performance and long‐term viability, has received scant theoretical and empirical attention in marketing research. Using data collected from 103 manufacturers and 101 distributors located in the USA, we investigate this phenomenon by conceptualizing it as a developmental process, comprising motives, symptoms, manifestations, consequences, and remedies. Our findings show that, with a few exceptions, there are no significant differences between manufacturers and distributors with regard to their perceptions of: (a) the structural, processual, and contextual factors contributing to the emergence of infidelity; (b) the behavioral and attitudinal factors helping to diagnose partner infidelity; (c) the ambiguous, explicit, and deceptive manifestations of infidelity; (d) the possible passive, mild, or aggressive consequences of infidelity; and (e) the pre‐emptive or post hoc measures that need to be taken to cure infidelity.
... Although trusting others provides opportunities for positive outcomes when trust is honored, it also exposes the trustor to the risk of betrayal (Huang & Murnighan, 2010;Schilke & Huang, 2018). To avoid being betrayed, people have developed ways of deciding who and how much to trust (Shackelford & Buss, 1996). Accordingly, an important question in the study of trust is under which conditions and why some individuals are trusted more than others. ...
Article
Cooperative motivation can be rooted in individual differences as well as in external factors, such as instructions from superiors, incentive schemes, policy agendas, or social relationships. Whereas cooperative motivation has generally been found to increase trust, in five studies conducted across different contexts (scenario-based, online with monetary consequences that were contingent on participants' decisions, in-class and laboratory face-to face negotiations), convergent evidence was found showing that trustees were trusted more when they were externally motivated to act cooperatively (vs. individualistically), though only when they already had a prosocial (vs. proself) social value orientation – i.e., internally driven positive care for others' (vs. their own) well-being. This finding was observed even when trustors had no explicit information about whether or how trustees were motivated by internal or external factors. The mediation analyses indicate that this effect is driven by trustors' perceptions of trustees' authenticity. Taken together, insight into how trustees' personalities and situations interact in predicting the level of trust granted to them is provided.
... With very few exceptions (Kostic and Yadon 2014;Shackelford and Buss 1996), studies have neglected to factor in information pertaining to the identity of the 'third party' that imagined relationship betrayals transpire with especially those adopting an evolutionary approach. No studies have thus far explored the extent to which jealousy may be aroused upon the discovery of infidelity through an online media source as a result of the emotional closeness, friendship status or genetic relatedness of an imagined 'interloper'. ...
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Research highlighting sex-differentiated jealousy resulting from imagined scenarios has now been reaffirmed when the infidelity-revealing message is discovered on a social media platform. Participants in the current study were presented with both sexually and emotionally charged infidelity-revealing scenarios featuring a same-sex sibling, a friend and a stranger in the format of a ‘Snapchat’ message. Men indicated significantly higher jealousy to sexual as opposed to emotional messages with the reverse pattern evident in women. Sex differences were also evident in the extent of jealousy elicited by ‘third-party’ identity. Women were significantly more jealous when the imagined infidelity occurred between their sister compared to both a best friend and a stranger with males showing significantly lower jealousy directed towards their brother compared to a stranger. These findings are supportive not only of a parental investment (PI) interpretation of sex differences in jealousy but also an interpretation consistent with aspects of inclusive fitness theory.
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