People who visit other countries are more likely to be unfaithful to their partners, a new study suggests.
Researchers from Columbia University in New York surveyed 215 students in relationships before they moved abroad. They were asked if they had been guilty of infidelity on several occasions. The first time was one month before they were scheduled to travel, the next one was six months after they had arrived and once more a year later.
They identified a significant spike in the number of students admitting to infidelity after they had left the country. While 30 per cent of respondents said they had been unfaithful prior to their travel, in the following interviews that number rose to almost 48 per cent.
The researchers explained that although “an increasing amount of empirical research has highlighted the benefits of going abroad” in the past ten years, their surveys had identified “an important dark side – increased immoral behaviour”.
This increase was true regardless of the levels of crime and corruption in the country of origin and the nation travelled to, the study suggested. One explanation for this could be that travel opens people up to more sets of moral codes than they would otherwise experience at home. Although experiences in foreign countries can “elevate people to new heights of creativity, they can also pull people down into the depths of immorality” the researchers claimed.
The study was published in the academic Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Read it in full here.
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