People who cheat at work are more likely to cheat on their partner as well.
Professional misconduct is linked to doubling the rate of marital infidelity, new research finds.
Another common sign of a cheating partner is having been unfaithful in past relationships.
Certain personality types are also more likely to cheat.
Men who are impulsive risk-takers are more likely to cheat on their partner.
Among women, being unhappy with their current relationship is linked with cheating.
On average, across men and women, extraverts are more likely to cheat on their partner, research finds.
It is probably because extraverted people have a wider social circle and so more opportunities to cheat.
Also, extraverts are impulsive, sensation-seekers who can easily succumb to their desires.
People who are low on conscientiousness are also more likely to cheat on their partner.
The latest conclusions about infidelity and professional misconduct come from an analysis of people using the Ashley Madison website.
Ashley Madison is a site for married people to have affairs: its slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair”.
In 2015 their site was hacked and details of 36 million users worldwide were released.
The study used this, along with professional misconduct data on 11,235 people with a variety of occupations, including CEOs, financial advisors and police officers.
Using these datasets, the researchers were able to show that people guilty of professional misconduct were twice as likely to use the Ashley Madison website to have an affair.
Dr Samuel Kruger, study co-author, said:
“This is the first study that’s been able to look at whether there is a correlation between personal infidelity and professional conduct.
We find a strong correlation, which tells us that infidelity is informative about expected professional conduct.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Griffin et al., 2019).