By Milly Vincent For Mailonline
Published: 12:26 BST, 16 October 2019 | Updated: 13:54 BST, 16 October 2019
Men are more likely than women to sabotage an opponent in a competition because they are afraid someone will do it to them, a study has found.
Competition was found to bring about unethical behaviour in both sexes in a trial, but one of them was quicker to resort to sabotage than the other.
Men were less reserved about paying to reduce the performance of the person they were up against.
And the researchers found this was because they subconsciously overestimated how likely it was to happen to them, whereas women estimated the risk accurately.
Men were found to overestimate the threat of sabotage against them, leading them to sabotage more
In the experiment,by researchers at Bonn University in Germany, the participants were told to encode words by using a sequence of numbers.
For each correct coding, they were given points and the person scoring most points received a bonus.
On average, women and men showed a similar performance, meaning both genders would have about the same chance to win the competition against each other.
However a difference emerged when people were offered the option to reduce their opponents' scores by spending money.
Men turned to sabotage more than women, investing more money in reducing the performance of the competitor.