The Allure of Secret Relationships

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Two surveys and a laboratory experiment examined the role of secrecy in attraction to relationships. In the first survey, respondents reported that past relationships they currently continued to think about were more likely to have been secret than ones they no longer pondered. In the second survey, those respondents who indicated that a past relationship had been secret also reported that it continued to be a target of their obsessive preoccupation. The laboratory experiment explored attraction between mixed-sex couples who were induced to play footsie under a table in the presence of another couple. When this was secret, greater attraction for the partner was reported than when it was not.

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