Powerful people most likely to have an affair

London: Powerful people are the ones most likely to have an affair irrespective of their gender, a new study has claimed.

One of the oldest accepted notions is that men are more likely to have an affair than women but scientists now believe that it is a person`s power rather than gender which plays the greatest role in infidelity, the Daily Mail reported.

An internet survey of 1,561 adults conducted by a team of researchers found that there is a higher risk of unfaithfulness in people with positions of power, no matter the sex.

"There has been a lot of research in the past that indicates that gender is the strongest predictor of infidelity, but none of these studies have been done on powerful women,"lead researcher Joris Lammers was quoted as saying by the British newspaper.

The survey involved a variety of respondents – 58 per cent had a non-management function, 22 per cent had a management function, 14 per cent were in middle-management and 6 per cent were in a top management position, the report said.

The researchers measured power by asking participants to indicate how powerful they thought of themselves.

Lammers and his team also measured other variants such as confidence, distance and the perception of risk as it relates to infidelity.

He said, "People often assume that powerful men may be more likely to cheat because they have risk-taking personalities or because of distance, such as frequent business trips that many powerful people go on.

"We found little correlation between either of the two. As more women are in greater positions of power and are considered equal to men, then familiar assumptions about their behaviour will change."

The study revealed two key discoveries to why powerful people cheat.

First, there is a strong association between power and confidence, and the amount of confidence a person has is the strongest link between power and unfaithfulness.

Second, the researchers found that among powerful people, gender made no difference in past digressions or the participants` desires to cheat.