Robin Hood meets Pinocchio: Justifications increase cheating behavior but decrease physiological tension | Midot
Publication year:2021
Published in:Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics Volume 92, 101699
Authors:Hochman, G., Peleg, D., Ariely, D., & Ayala, S.
Article abstract

We investigated whether altruistic justification increases cheating behavior while suppressing its associated physiological arousal. In the first study (n = 60), participants strategically employed altruistic considerations to justify their dishonesty and promote their personal goals. In the second study (n = 110), participants who worked to benefit others (compared to participants who worked to benefit themselves) cheated more and were less likely to be detected by a lie detector test. In addition, among participants who worked to benefit others, more honest participants experienced higher psychological distress than dishonest participants. These findings suggest that physiological arousal may be a good indicator of self-interest cheating, but not a justified one.

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