The seven personality types who are most likely to be unfaithful

Are YOU likely to cheat? Expert reveals the SEVEN personality types most prone to being unfaithful – including narcissists and thrill-seekers

  • Dr Kenneth Paul Rosenberg says some personality types are more likely to stray
  • Narcissists, thrill-seekers and those who are impulsive could all be unfaithful
  • Explains biological differences in brain chemicals play a role in having an affair

People with certain personality types are more likely to be unfaithful than others, an expert has revealed.

Dr Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, an American psychiatrist with two decades’ experience in treating sexual issues, explained that research has identified seven character traits that are likely to be associated with infidelity.

Here, in an extract from his book, Infidelity: Why Men and Women Cheat, Dr Rosenberg outlines the ‘three main determinants of cheating’ – and the character traits that mean someone is more likely to stray…

Dr Kenneth Paul Rosenberg explained that research and clinical experience have identified seven character traits that are likely to be associated with infidelity. Stock image

My patients struggling with infidelity come from a variety of social circumstances and situations—they have different sexual orientations, are at different ages, and come from many religious, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. 

They are millennials who engage in cybersex and have come of age with internet porn, first-date sex, and friends with benefits. They are women and men in the midst of midlife crises who fear dwindling opportunities in sex as well as in life in general. 


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They also include the elderly, who are living longer and healthier than ever, confronting changes in their bodies and their desires but enjoying the benefits of drugs and treatments that can enhance their sex lives. 

Writing in his new book, Infidelity: Why Men and Women Cheat, Dr Rosenberg said narcissists and thrill-seekers are among those more likely to cheat. Stock image

I have seen religious people who cheat and people who say they cheat despite the fact that they are happy with their spouses. (In surveys over a third of cheating women and over half of cheating men reported that they were perfectly content with their long-term relationships and cheated despite their satisfaction.)

So who can cheat? Anyone! Anytime! Any place!

The Three Determinants of Cheating

Over the course of more than two decades in practice I’ve found three main factors that determine adulterous behavior.

They are your:

  • brain—the neurological structures and chemistry that evolution gave you
  • psychology—the mind that you’ve developed through formative experiences that imprint certain ways of thinking about the world, your place in it, and how you think about your sexual/romantic self
  • culture—the environment around you, with its varying messages about sex, love, and adultery that inform both your opinions about and opportunities for infidelity

Dr Rosenberg’s new book, Infidelity: Why Men and Women Cheat

Based on studies that we will discuss in the next two chapters, I estimate that nearly 50 percent of what differentiates cheaters from noncheaters has to do with biological differences in their brain chemicals. 

This means that more than half of what pushes a man or woman to take the plunge to cheat has to do with both one’s environment and one’s psychology.

The most significant environmental cause is the fact that we can cheat. The easier it is to do, the more likely we will do it. Cheating is not confined to sleazy people. Under the right circumstances it is very easy to turn lustful thoughts into desperate actions.

As we know from studies of chemical addictions, there are several environmental factors that make bad behaviors more doable. 

Professionals refer to these as the three A’s. If a bad behavior is affordable, accessible, and anonymous, we are more likely to do it. 

Revealed: The SEVEN personality types most likely to be unfaithful 

When it comes to the psychology of cheaters, the biggest factor driving them to stray is the feeling that they’re entitled or deserve to cheat.

Research and clinical experience have identified certain personality traits to be associated with this feeling:

Narcissism—feeling self-entitled and putting one’s needs first

Lacking empathy—not being able to put oneself in one’s partner’s shoes

Grandiosity—overestimating one’s abilities, especially one’s sexual prowess with others, and needing validation for one’s abilities as a lover

Being impulsive—making important decisions, with major consequences, on the fly

Being a novelty or thrill seeker

Having an avoidant attachment style—fearing commitment

Being self-destructive or masochistic

Infidelity: Why Men And Women Cheat by Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, MD is published by Da Capo Press, £18.99. To order a copy for £14.24 (25pc discount). Visit or call 0844 571 0640, p&p is free on orders over £15. Offer valid until 16/06/2018. For more information, go to 

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