Extradyadic romantic behavior in committed relationships, referred to here as "cheating," is a common occurrence. For the purposes of this study, we define cheating as romantic or sexual behaviors that occur outside of a committed romantic relationship and that violate the expectations of the relationship. This definition can be broken down into two parts: the behavior that occurred and the judgment of whether that behavior constitutes cheating. Using a large sample (N = 1,020), we tested a measure that conceptualized cheating as composing explicit behaviors, categorical judgment of behaviors, and dimensional judgment of behaviors. Fit statistics were mixed and we included suggested modifications. Biological sex was a significant modifier for each factor, with men endorsing significantly more explicit behaviors and women rating more behaviors as cheating and more serious. We found no significant differences in explicit behaviors or categorical judgments based on age, but older generations rated behaviors as more serious. Having experienced cheating in a relationship (as transgressor and/or victim) resulted in rating more behaviors as cheating than those who had no experience with cheating. With modifications, our measure is promising in assisting with the understanding of cheating and expectations in relationships.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Dowdle, Krista Joy, "Defining Cheating Using Multiple Models" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 9645.
cheating, romantic relationships, measurement model