They see you: Strangers can spot a cheater by watching couples in just minutes

  • ANI, Washington
  • Updated: Oct 11, 2014 15:58 IST

A new study has revealed that 'infidelity radar' is a real thing, as strangers can quickly spot a cheater just by watching how couples get along.

Nathaniel Lambert, an assistant professor at Brigham Young University's School of Family Life and the lead author of the study, told The Huffington Post that people can determine whether complete strangers were cheaters or non-cheaters by simply watching them interact for a short period of time.

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For their study, researchers rounded up 51 undergraduate students at Florida State University and their romantic partners. Each student completed a questionnaire about his/her emotional and physical infidelity in the relationship.

Then the couples were videotaped for about four minutes as they did a drawing task in which one partner was blindfolded and the other guided his/her partner on what to draw and the videos then were shown to six strangers, who were asked to assess how likely each student was to cheat on his/her partner.

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It was found that the strangers' guesses were strongly correlated with the students' self-reported infidelity. The researchers conducted a second experiment with 43 other couples and five other strangers. Once again, the same correlation was observed. The strangers weren't right every time, Lambert said, but their ability to spot cheaters was significantly above chance.

The study was published online in the journal Personal Relationships.

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