But when it's your own family member or friend who committed the crime, you're less likely to do anything as well, according to a new University of Michigan study.

The findings, published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, indicate that people are more likely to protect those close to them when moral infractions are committed, particularly highly severe acts such as theft, blackmail and groping.

Regardless of gender, political orientation, morals or disgust by the offense, the tendency is to not sacrifice the relationship -- even for the good of society. Researchers expressed surprise that people tend to become more protective of a loved one as the severity of the crime increases.

"We were really taken aback to see that most people predict that they will protect those close to them even in the face of heinous moral infractions," said Aaron Weidman, a psychology research fellow and the study's co-lead author.

Read the full article at ScienceDaily.