This attraction to the “counter-normative” might explain why the powerful are more likely to be unfaithful. This is in contrast to the more conventional theory that influential people are simply found more attractive and therefore are presented with more opportunity, which they seize.

In a study published in The Journal of Sex Research, the psychologists directly tested these two different theories for why infidelity is linked to power, in a large survey of 610 Dutchmen and women.

The research found that among those who were in a committed relationship, participants in non-management jobs (9.1 percent) were the least likely to engage in infidelity, followed by those in lower management (8.5 percent), those in middle management (24.0 percent), and finally those in top management (36.5 percent). Those in top management were approximately four times more likely to engage in infidelity than those below them enduring non-management positions.