Infidelity is a widespread phenomenon, but the reasons that could lead people to cheat have not been adequately investigated. The current study puts forward an evolutionary theoretical framework in which infidelity is a strategy that, under certain circumstances, can increase the reproductive successes of the individuals who adopt it. Study 1 used a combination of qualitative methods, and identified 61 reasons that would drive individuals to cheat. Study 2 used a sample of 819 Greek-Cypriot participants and, by using principal components analysis, classified these reasons in five factors of infidelity. It found that, getting revenge and the current relationship not going well, were the most likely reasons for cheating, followed by willingness to have sex with different mates and get novel experiences. It was also found that, men gave significantly higher scores in all factors than women, and there were also significant personality effects, mainly of conscientiousness.
- Mate switching hypothesis