As Mazar et al. (2008) proposed, the ability of most people to behave dishonestly might be bounded by their ability to cheat and at the same time feel that they are behaving as moral individuals. To the extent that creativity allows people to more easily behave dishonestly and rationalize this behavior, creativity might be a more general driver of this type of dishonesty and play a useful role in understanding unethical behavior. from The Dark Side of Creativity: Original Thinkers Can be More Dishonest by Francesca Gino and Dan ArielSecond Life has a reputation as both a vital creative community and a hotbed of extra-marital virtual affairs. A new working paper does a pretty convincing job of tying those two seemingly disconnected aspects together. The condensed version is that the same flexible thinking that fuels out-of-the-box thinking in areas such as art or science, tends to also be applied in questions of ethics and morals.
I approached the paper with a lot of skepticism. But after reading through it and reflecting on the numerous conversations I've had with people who justify Second Life affairs through extremely creative rationales, I suspect the theory explains al least part of the phenomenon.