Quality of alternatives positively associated with interest in opening up a relationship

Geoff MacDonald, Yoobin Park, Alathea Hayes, Isabelle Vanasse Grosdidier, Sun W. Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We use the Investment Model framework to examine what relationship features are associated with interest in and positive evaluations of consensual non-monogamy (CNM) among individuals in monogamous relationships. In data sets from the United States (Study 1), Europe (Study 2), and Korea (Study 3; total N = 886), perceptions of higher-quality alternatives were consistently associated with more interest in CNM. Further, consistent with previous work on commitment-motivated relationship maintenance processes, we found support for an indirect effect whereby lower commitment was associated with higher perceived attractiveness of alternatives, which in turn was associated with more interest in CNM. The data suggest that the idea of CNM is likely to be most attractive to those who see themselves as having higher-quality relationship options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-566
Number of pages29
JournalPersonal Relationships
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 International Association for Relationship Research.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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