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What motivates us to cheat?
Cheating is a particularly widespread practice among human beings, but also among certain primates...

Indeed, cheating requires a certain intelligence and creativity; and these two cognitive faculties are located in the neocortex, a region of the brain that is only developed in certain higher mammals. Thus, the larger this brain region is, the greater the risk of deception and social manipulation.

But what is the motivation for cheating?
The truth is, while the potential benefit of cheating may seem quite obvious, it is not the only motivator. In fact, there are several factors that motivate cheating. Here are the three main drivers of cheating:

Fear associated with loss: this would be an even more powerful driver than the lure of gain. Indeed, it seems that the fear of losing one's job, one's reputation, one's money, etc... favors cheating behavior.

Potential profit

This is one of the main motivations to cheat. However, it appears that it is the most creative people who more easily adopt dishonest behaviors. This may be because these individuals are more inventive in justifying their cheating and thus giving themselves a clear conscience.


Seeing someone cheat without consequences encourages others to do the same. This social contagion would be due to the fact that dishonesty makes people believe that they have to cheat to remain competitive.

The absence of limits

If nothing stops the cheating process, it can feed itself. Indeed, when a person crosses the first protective barrier of deception, the following ones seem much less impassable.

Yet, fraud has serious and lasting consequences for the cheater, but also for society. Indeed, cheaters are stigmatized, resources are wasted, honest people are deprived of the rewards they deserve, those close to cheaters may suffer collateral damage, etc...

What are the psychological consequences of infidelity?

Being cheated on provokes a whirlwind of unspeakable emotions. But beyond that, infidelity also has several psychological consequences on the medium and long term. Lowered self-esteem, post-traumatic stress, questioning of one's individuality, etc.

Self-esteem: the first psychological victim of infidelity

The psychological consequences of infidelity are real. It is a shock that shakes the couple and its foundations. The first collateral victim is the self-esteem of the deceived person. He or she feels completely helpless and questions everything that has been said or done within the couple. Being cheated on by someone you love sometimes makes the cheated person question his or her individuality. "Women, in particular, tend to convince themselves that they are not desirable enough by telling themselves that they are not capable of keeping their partner," says the psychologist.

Infidelity awakens the wound of betrayal
Being cheated on can awaken wounds that were previously hidden, denied or underestimated. People with a wound of betrayal will have a particularly hard time living with infidelity and/or a break-up. "This wound concerns any child who, at some point in his or her childhood, needed a parent who was not there," explains Véronique Kohn. The latter then develops a feeling of betrayal which becomes a wound. The fact of being betrayed again by a partner awakens a dormant feeling.

How to recover psychologically from an infidelity?
Recovering from infidelity can seem difficult. Very difficult. Especially when the person who violated us was supposed to be our other half. Maybe it will take time, but you will get there. And if some decide to forgive, others prefer to put an end to the story to better rebuild themselves.