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Abstract

This study was designed to examine critically the similarities and differences between live and online infidelity both physical and emotional. Participants included 205 individuals, 51.2% of whom were men, who were randomly assigned to read one of four scenario conditions that varied by relationship problem, physical or emotional, live or online. Participants' sex was also used as a variable. After reading their assigned scenarios, participants evaluated themselves on their likelihood of committing the indicated type of infidelity. They also completed checklist measures regarding their personal definitions of and experiences with infidelity. The results indicated that committing either physical or emotional online infidelity was highly associated with live, physical and emotional, infidelity. Women defined more behaviors as unfaithful within the categories of live physical, live emotional, online physical, and online emotional. Men committed more counts of infidelity in every area except for live emotional acts. This study provides valuable knowledge to mental health professionals and the general public in order to better understand the different aspects of infidelity.

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