Dating relationships and infidelity attitudes and behaviors
That is, if we think our friends are cheating, or especially that our friends think it’s OK to cheat, we’re more willing to do so ourselves.
Believing that our friends are unfaithful can make these behaviors seem both more desirable and more likely to occur.
If your only cheating experience was kissing an ex-boyfriend at a party, but you have some friends who have engaged in more frequent or severe infidelities, you may see yourself as especially faithful.
You are likely to be overestimating just how acceptable it is.There are many reasons why people are unfaithful to their partners, but one possibility is that cheating may seem like a more acceptable behavior for us to engage in if we think it’s commonplace and widely accepted.If we think that our own cheating is less frequent or severe than the norm, we’ll be more likely to let ourselves slide and succumb to temptation.A study conducted in the Netherlands found that the greater the proportion of their friends people believed to have cheated, the more likely they were to have cheated in the past, and the more likely they were to say that they would be willing to cheat in the future.These effects were even stronger when asking about their friends’ perceived attitudes toward cheating, rather than actual cheating behavior.