Beware: the Partner Stealer Identified, According to Study

Researchers studied mate poaching by analyzing the behavior of 187 heterosexual couples in Croatia, defining it as attracting someone already in a relationship.

How the study worked

Participants rated personalities and discussed poaching. The Big Five and Dark Triad (narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism) were assessed.

Men with low conscientiousness and high Machiavellianism are prone to poaching partners. Successful men have high psychopathy and low agreeableness.

Men with this trait were most likely to poach

Psychopathy and Machiavellianism are the strongest predictors of poaching experiences, particularly in men, according to the study.

Poaching-prone women are extraverted, open, and psychopathic. Their agreeableness and neuroticism and their partner's make them vulnerable.

Women with this trait were most likely to poach

The study reveals how a woman's extraversion, openness, partner's agreeableness, and neuroticism affect partner poaching.

Surprisingly, narcissism did not show a consistent association with mate poaching, contrary to researchers' expectations regarding its impact.

The surprising trait that wasn't a factor

Narcissism, characterized by an inflated self-importance and desire for admiration, is not linked to mate poaching, relieving narcissists of this behavior.

According to psychologist David Tzall, personality qualities and a lack of confidence can contribute to poaching. 

There could be other causes for poaching, too

Befriending someone while in a relationship is a less risky way to begin a new relationship.

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