Consensual Nonmonogamy and Characteristics of People Who Follow This Lifestyle
Wright, Katherine E.
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This research examined self-ratings of happiness, life satisfaction, and the Big Five personality traits of consensually nonmonogamous participants versus monogamous participants. 1,507 respondents (1,417 monogamous, 80 consensually nonmonogamous) responded to an ad posted online in various cities across the U~ited States, which asked for individuals to participate in a study assessing their opinions on different kinds of relationships, and asked for views of themselves and attitudes towards relationships, in general. All participants completed a questionnaire assessing the Big Five personality factors, happiness, and life satisfaction. Due to the unequal number of consensually nonmonogamous participants and monogamous participants, a random sample of 80 participants from each group was chosen for analysis. It was hypothesized that consensually nonmonogamous participants would adopt the traits of deviants, with significantly lower scores in conscientiousness, and agreeableness when compared to monogamous participants. Results indicated a significant difference between groups on conscientiousness and openness, with nonsignificant differences in agreeableness, extraversion, neuroticism, happiness, and life satisfaction. Conscientiousness and openness were found to be predictors of a participant's relationship style, with higher scores on conscientiousness predicting for monogamy, and higher scores on openness predicting for consensual nonmonogamy. These results indicate that even though consensually nonmonogamous individuals may differ from monogamous individuals on conscientiousness and openness, other factors related to personality and lifestyle are not significantly different. These findings bring to question theories that state consensually nonmonogamous individuals are psychologically unwell or personality deviants.