Popcap has teamed up with Information Solutions Group to analyze the behaviour of people who cheat in online social games. And it turns out that close to half of those people are likely to cheat or be dishonest in real life as well.

The study looked at 1,200 adults and found that of the people who admitted to cheating in social games, 48 percent also admitting to “cheating” in real life in some way, whether it’s parking in a handicap space or stealing hotel towels. By comparison, of those who didn’t admit to cheating in games, only 14 percent said they cheated in real life.

Of course, they could have all been cheating on the survey as well.

Other interesting facts: men cheat more than women, making up 54 percent of all social game cheaters; 72 percent of cheaters are under 40 years of age; and 49 percent of people who cheat in social games have also cheated in a relationship.

“It’s not surprising that online cheating parallels real-world cheating, even if people are just experimenting with the possibilities,” Concordia University’s Dr. Mia explained. “With more of our daily systems and processes moving online, and being divorced from human contact (downloading music, filing taxes online) the risks either appear to be lesser, or they don’t feel like crimes.”

You can find the entire survey here.