Gambling Your Soul Mate: Risk-Taking and Attitudes Towards Infidelity
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Engagement in risk-taking behaviors by young adults, such as alcohol use and unsafe sex practices, is a public health concern. The purpose of the present study is to examine if there is a significant correlation between risky decision-making and the past occurrence of infidelity. One hundred and seventy three undergraduate students were recruited from Texas State University-San Marcos. The total sample consisted of 128 (74.4%) females and 44 (25.6%) males, with a mean age (± SD) of 21.75 ± 4.81. All participants completed the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), the Impulsive Sensation Seeking Subscale (ImpSS) of the Zuckerman’s Sensation Seeking Scale, the Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index (RAPI), the Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST-10), and an investigator created questionnaire that included questions on infidelity. A significant correlation was found between problematic alcohol use (RAPI) and past occurrence of infidelity. A significant difference was also found between the mean score for the risk-taking condition (BART) for a physical act of infidelity compared to the combined condition of emotional and physical acts of infidelity. There was not a significant correlation found to support risk-taking behaviors, impulsivity and illicit substance use on committed infidelity. Because this is the first known study to examine the relationship between general risk-taking behaviors and the occurrence of infidelity, further research should be conducted to continue exploring potential relationships between these two variables.