Polyamory and Monogamy Research Study


New member
Hello all,

I am currently a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where I study intimacy, sexuality, and identity.

I recently attended the International Conference on the Future of Monogamy and Nonmonogamy in Berkeley, where I presented preliminary findings on a research study I'm conducting; I was encouraged by the positive feedback, so I'm recruiting more participants in order to expand my sample size beyond the 150 or so that I had at the time (at last count, we're up to 377 completed respondents, but I'm interested in as large a sample size as I can find).

The purpose of this study is to investigate the affective responses of polyamorous and monogamous participants to hypothetical, imagined scenarios involving their partner(s). This survey is the beginning of an ongoing research effort to gain information about the variety of ways that people conceptualize and experience intimate relationships.

We are interested in collecting responses from individuals who self-identify as either "monogamous" or "polyamorous," especially those who are currently in relationships. Please consider participating if you fit these criteria:

- You are at least 18 years old;
- You self-identify as either "monogamous" or "polyamorous"; and
- You have had at least one intimate relationship.

If you volunteer to participate in this study, you will be asked to do the following: Complete an interview or online survey that includes your basic demographic information, personal thoughts and beliefs about your pair-bonding strategy and relationship(s), and your affective reactions to hypothetical, imagined scenarios involving your partner(s). This is a comprehensive survey. Participants can expect it to take anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes to complete.

We’re hoping that this study will set the ground work for later research on compersion, highlighting the relationship between individuals’ pair-bonding strategies and affect in order to investigate where and why the propensity for compersion exists in some people (or in some cultures) but not in others. Research can then be expanded cross-culturally to investigate the social and biological factors contributing to this difference. In general, we are finding this research valuable in helping to better understand the multitude of ways and factors that influence how human beings develop and maintain intimate relationships with each other.

(A note of clarification about the Term "Pair Bonding" - "Pair-bond" is a term used in academic literature to refer to evolution and partner selection, categorized as either social or sexual. "Pair-bonding," as it is used in this study, does not refer exclusively to dyadic relationships of 2 individuals, but also includes the potential for multiple, simultaneous bonds.)

The recruiting flyer for the study (which links to the online survey) can be found here: http://relationshipstudy.wix.com/participate

The survey can also be access directly through this link: https://unlv.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1GKQrCEXiI9VbQp

If you're interested in contributing to poly research, I invite and encourage you to participate and share the survey. Of note, we are looking for equal numbers of monogamous-identified and polyamorous-identified respondents, so sharing can extend to anyone you know who's willing to participate.


Official Greeter
Took the survey. Found it was pretty easy to take and it didn't take too long (probably 30 minutes tops). I should add, though, I only had one partner to account for. Each additional partner would probably add at least 10-15 minutes (depending on how adept I got while answering for these multiple partners).

I just have one partner but she has two partners (me and one other guy). If she took the survey she'd probably need 20-40 minutes to complete it. (She's faster than me.)

I liked the fact that I could write in feelings not already listed, and that I could provide written explanations for quite a few of my answers.

Overall a fairly pleasant survey and I'd recommend it for others who are interested. Requires no special cookies or anything like that (which I consider a big plus).


New member
I just pulled the time stats, and it looks like about 30% of the poly sample is finishing the survey within 20 minutes, and 75% within 40 minutes. You're spot-on that each additional partner adds to the length of the survey, which I worried might lead to survey burnout; however, it was important to me to provide respondents the opportunity to report on more than one partner. I've seen entirely too many poly studies that collapse questions into generalizations about "the poly relationship" instead of the dynamics between each partner, which baffles me.

I'm glad to hear the "thumbs up" on the survey design overall :) I have a terrible habit of falling into the "must have stats!" trap due to my background in psychology and human behavior, but as an ethnographer, I wasn't satisfied with a quantitative-only approach; the qualitative responses are hugely important for the "depth" of the data.

Thank you for contributing!


Official Greeter
No problem -- and I agree, each partner that one has should be accounted for (or at the very least people should have the option to do so).


New member
I didn't complete it, partly because it was taking too long, partly because in the "rank relationship elements" part, most (7-8) of the elements are totally irrelevant in two out of my three relationships, so even "putting them at the bottom" (which would mean putting them in the 3rd-10th position) would be misleading.
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Active member
Well that was interesting. I realized from taking the survey how little I experience compersion. Most of my answers to feelings felt in the scenarios were negative. *Goes off to think about this.*


Yes, this was interesting indeed. I found out that I would (and do!) feel compersion for my poly partner. If my mono partner would go out to date others etc, I'd be totally puzzled. Definitely good to have the opportunity to answer for each partner individually!


Official Greeter
I was perhaps surprised at how many things I'd feel "indifferent" about. About the most exciting answers from me were, "surprised -- because that would be unusual of my partner."

I could almost conclude that I "just don't care about anything," but I was able to ring a few little compersion bells. So, I'll take that as a good sign.