Infidelity (United States)

Prevalence of Extramarital Sex

Source: GSS General Social Survey


The relationship between ‘Power’ and ‘Infidelity’

Lammers et al. (2011) reveals that there is a clear link between holding a higher power role or position and infidelity. The effect sizes are modest but significant. With power’s effect on infidelity intentions having a coefficient of 0.11, and actual infidelity a coefficient of 0.05, this means that each unit increase in power corresponds to a small but statistically significant increase in both the intention to cheat and actual cheating. The gender of the person did not significantly impact these findings. Most notably, power doesn’t directly lead to infidelity, but rather increases a person’s confidence, which in turn influences the intentions and actions towards infidelity. This pathway via confidence accounted for 66.7% of the relationship for infidelity intentions and 45.5% for actual infidelity. Despite the modest effect sizes, the significance of these findings underscores the indirect influence power has on infidelity, mediated largely by confidence.

Last updated on: July 11, 2023

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