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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2010 Oct;99(4):649-59. doi: 10.1037/a0019628.

Faith and unfaithfulness: can praying for your partner reduce infidelity?

Author information

1
Family Institute, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1491, USA. ffincham@fsu.edu

Erratum in

  • J Pers Soc Psychol. 2010 Oct;99(4):594.

Abstract

Because religion and/or spirituality is integral to the lives of a majority of the world population, we conducted 3 studies on the role of prayer in romantic relationships. Study 1 (N = 375) showed that prayer for the partner predicted lower levels of extradyadic romantic behavior over a 6-week period, over and beyond relationship satisfaction, and initial levels of extradyadic romantic behavior. In Study 2 (N = 83), we used an experimental design to show that participants assigned to pray for each day for 4 weeks engaged in lower levels of extradyadic romantic behavior during that time, compared with those who engaged in daily positive thoughts about the partner or a neutral activity. Perception of the relationship as sacred mediated the relation between experimentally manipulated prayer and later infidelity. Study 3 (N = 23) showed that objective observers rated participants who had been praying for their partner for 4 weeks as more committed to their romantic relationship than control participants. The implications of these results are then discussed. Because religion and/or spirituality is integral to the lives of a majority of the world population, we conducted 3 studies on the role of prayer in romantic relationships. Study 1 (N = 375) showed that prayer for the partner predicted lower levels of extradyadic romantic behavior over a 6-week period, over and beyond relationship satisfaction, and initial levels of extradyadic romantic behavior. In Study 2 (N = 83), we used an experimental design to show that participants assigned to pray for each day for 4 weeks engaged in lower levels of extradyadic romantic behavior during that time, compared with those who engaged in daily positive thoughts about the partner or a neutral activity. Perception of the relationship as sacred mediated the relation between experimentally manipulated prayer and later infidelity. Study 3 (N = 23) showed that objective observers rated participants who had been praying for their partner for 4 weeks as more committed to their romantic relationship than control participants. The implications of these results are then discussed.

PMID:
20718545
DOI:
10.1037/a0019628
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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