Objective: Extra-pair mating has potentially severe costs, which favor the evolution of mechanisms that would enable people to reduce them by detecting their partners’ infidelity. Such a mechanism is romantic jealousy, and the current research attempted to examine the interplay between romantic jealousy, personality and the probability of detecting infidelity. Method: We employed quantitative research methods on a sample of 916 Greek-speaking participants. Results: we found that higher scorers in romantic jealousy were more likely to detect infidelity than lower scorers. The effect was independent of one’s own infidelity, sex and age. We also found that neuroticism and openness predicted the probability to detect infidelity indirectly through jealousy. More specifically, high scorers in neuroticism experienced stronger jealousy, which in turn, was associated with increased probability to detect infidelity. On the other hand, high scorers in openness experienced lower jealousy that was associated with a decreased probability of detecting infidelity. Conclusions: Our results were consistent with the hypothesis that the jealousy mechanism has evolved to enable individuals to detect infidelity.
- Infidelity detection
- Romantic jealousy