Open relationships satisfying as monogamous ones + Moral behavior & free will

Apparently a so-called "ideal relationship structure" achieves such status purely via evaluation of the effects on the immediate participants and nothing else connected with society. Apparently nowadays the single, tentative study has acquired the capacity for full-blown debunking of whatever supposed _X_.

Open relationships just as satisfying as monogamous ones (study)

EXCERPT: . . . We found people in consensual, non-monogamous relationships experience the same levels of relationship satisfaction, psychological well-being and sexual satisfaction as those in monogamous relationships,” said Jessica Wood, a PhD student in applied social psychology and lead author of the study. “This debunks societal views of monogamy as being the ideal relationship structure.”

In consensual, non-monogamous relationships, all partners agree to engage in multiple sexual or romantic relationships.

Between three and seven per cent of people in North America are currently in a consensual, non-monogamous relationship.

“It’s more common than most people think,” said Wood. “We are at a point in social history where we are expecting a lot from our partners. We want to have sexual fulfillment and excitement but also emotional and financial support. Trying to fulfill all these needs can put pressure on relationships. To deal with this pressure, we are seeing some people look to consensually non-monogamous relationships.”

However, consensually non-monogamous relationships still attract stigma, she added....


Moral behavior and free will

EXCERPT: . . . The study found no correlation between either charity or cheating and FWB [Free Will Belief]. The authors point out this is a [url=]null finding[url], which means that the correlation could simply have been smaller than the power of the study to detect. But the results do count against the conclusion that there is a strong correlation.

Given prior research this means that the question is up in the air, because the results of various studies are mixed.

This is often the case with these types of psychological studies because they are always tricky to design and interpret. Part of the problem is that psychological studies often rely on proxies or models – they use a behavior that can be measured as if it represents an underlying trait. However, the alleged connection may be affected by confounding factors, and sometimes ones that are difficult to anticipate.

For example, for decades researchers used the marshmallow test as a proxy for the ability to defer gratification. In these studies children (usually) were offered one marshmallow now or 2 or more marshmallows later if they could wait and resist the temptation to eat the marshmallow.

This paradigm stood for decades as a marker of self-restraint, but more recent research suggests another factor may be at play – trust. The children have to trust that the adults will return with more marshmallows, and may opt for the bird-in-the-hand regardless of their executive function.

What is going on in the mind of a subject when they “decide” to cheat when reporting their die roll? Who knows. The best we can do is look for correlations, or try to manipulate variables and see their effect.

Psychological studies are also always at least a little artificial. Researchers try to make real world observations, or to distract subjects from the real factors they are observing, and this helps. But the fact of being in a study has the potential of affecting behavior – a Hawthorne or observer effect.

In any case, this study is simply making a null conclusion – that we cannot say that FWB correlates with moral behavior. We can now try to make sense of this result, but that will be largely speculation (even if it’s logical and well-informed speculation)....

No comparison of length of relationships between monogamous and non-monogamous? Length would likely be a more objective metric than reported satisfaction.

No, one null result doesn't through decades of studies into sudden doubt. Only wishful thinking does that.
The psychological effects of priming, both for free will and determinism, have been well documented.

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