Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - Psychology



First Advisor

Kyle E. Conlon, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Lauren E. Brewer, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Sylvia Middlebrook, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Carrie Kennedy-Lightsey, Ph.D.


In the wake of infidelity, romantic partners must decide how to move beyond the act of betrayal. Although infidelity can be concealed, sometimes others learn of the infidelity, which may impel a cheater to take steps to repair his or her image. This study examined the use of image repair on social media (Facebook), specifically the tactic of admitting responsibility, in the wake of infidelity. After reading a vignette describing infidelity by the male partner in a heterosexual relationship and viewing a social media post from the cheater, participants answered a series of questions about the couple’s perceived relationship satisfaction. Results indicated that there was no significant difference among the three social media posts (admittance of responsibility, no admittance of responsibility, and a control post) on perceived relationship satisfaction. Overall, perceptions of the couple following infidelity indicated low perceived relationship satisfaction. The findings suggest that efforts to repair one’s image through social media following infidelity may not have the desired effect.

Keywords: Infidelity, Social Media, Image Repair Theory

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



Tell us how this article helped you.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.