A New Study Says Cheating Is Actually Contagious

Feeling a little anxious about your partner’s new job that seems to have them doing more drinking after work with new coworkers and taking a lot of work trips? Your concerns may be justified as research finds it’s possible to be “infected” with infidelity.

A recent study posed the question “Is infidelity contagious?” and found the answer is “yes!” It turns out, seeing other people cheat lowered participants’ commitment to their own relationship, as well as their desire to resist temptation. “Environments that foster a greater prevalence of infidelity may make people more vulnerable to, if not outright ‘infect’ them with, infidelity,” explains lead study author Gurit Birnbaum.

So situational forces can be pretty powerful, like if cheating is acceptable in your workplace or friend group, having your own affair seems like less of a big deal. We’re all influenced by the people we spend time with, in both positive and negative ways. So if, as a couple, you’re surrounded by other happy, long-term couples, that’s good for your own relationship. But the study finds that when people start seeing those around them cheating, they’re less likely to use “relationship-protection” strategies, like avoiding people they’re attracted to.

According to relationship expert Tracey Cox, these are the nine factors that predict who’s more likely to cheat and who isn’t.

  • They have friends or coworkers who think it’s okay to cheat
  • Their parents had affairs
  • Their personal values allow it
  • They have certain personality traits
  • They’re going through a rough patch
  • They drink a lot or take recreational drugs
  • They’re good looking
  • They travel a lot for work
  • They work in a high drama profession

Source: Daily Mail

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