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Betrayal

Definition

Betrayal refers to situations in which individuals (victims) believe that a relationship partner (a perpetrator) has harmed them by knowingly violating a norm governing their relationship. In this context, norms refer to expectations about how the relationship partners should treat one another. Typical betrayals might involve witnessing a romantic partner flirt with somebody else at a party or learning that a good friend has lied to you about something important. Although betrayals are especially likely to be experienced in close relationships, they can also be experienced in more casual relationships. For example, individuals may feel betrayed when a casual acquaintance spreads nasty gossip about them.

Norms vary in the degree to which they are generally accepted in a given culture versus distinctive to a particular ...

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