The results of a 2011 Dutch study found that people with power are more likely to cheat on their significant other. The study also suggest that powerful people are more likely to encroach upon someone else’s significant other.
People are attracted to people with power. People with power can be very influential so it is easy to see how a nefarious use of that influence could attract the partner of someone in a strained relationship.
Tilburg University psychologist Joris Lammers and his team surveyed 1,561 people in high professional positions. The interviewees provided information on how high up in their organizations they were and their history or interest in cheating.
Compiled data from those interviews indicate that elevated power is positively associated with infidelity. The genders of the powerful cheaters were insignificant. Their professional positions proved to be one common denominator they all shared in relation to cheating.
The study adds to a growing wealth of information around how power effects people’s behavior. Beyond being more likely to cheat on their spouses, people who feel powerful are more likely to commit traffic violations, feel distant from other people, and find their own life story more inspiring than anybody else’s.
All aspects of the study considered, it appears that some people in power harbor a sense of self- entitlement. A dangerous degree of self-entitlement that leads them to go after things they should not. The results of the study would explain some of the actions of wayward politicians CEO’s, ministers, and others in prominent positions. Some of these individuals get in trouble not because of stupidity, but because they feel they are entitled to whatever vice they are engaging in.
Psychologist Lammers says, “As a social psychologist, I believe that the situation is everything and that the situation or instance is often stronger than the individual.”