Cheating makes you happy

Bescheißen macht glücklich. Das wäre die Kurzform einer neuen Studie der Uni Washington, laut der unethisches Verhalten (im Experiment konkret das Bescheißen bei Tests) glücklich macht und die Bescheißer „experienced thrill, self-satisfaction, a sense of superiority“. Klingt sehr logisch, kenne ich selber, sollte jeder ab und zu machen, dieses Bescheißen. Man sollte unbedingt dazusagen, dass Bescheißen laut dieser Studie nur dann glücklich macht, wenn die Probanden davon ausgingen, dass niemand zu Schaden kam.

A[…] set of participants […] took a word-unscrambling test. After finishing, they were handed an answer key, told to check their answers and asked to report the number of correct ones. For every right answer, they would earn $1. Participants did not know that researchers could tell if they corrected wrong answers; 41 percent did so.

The follow-up assessment of their moods indeed showed that the cheats, on average, felt an emotional boost that the honest participants didn’t. “The fact that people feel happier after cheating is disturbing, because there is emotional reinforcement of the behavior, meaning they could be more likely to do it again,” said Nicole E. Ruedy, the study’s lead author and a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Washington’s Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking. […] Why did people feel so good about cheating? Was it relief at not being caught? That would imply that while cheating, they felt stress or distress. Or had they deceived themselves, rationalizing or minimizing the cheating to feel better? Stripping away these possibilities, the researchers found that those who cheated experienced thrill, self-satisfaction, a sense of superiority.

The effect persisted even when subjects cheated indirectly. Next, they would solve math problems with someone who was just pretending to be a participant. The fake participant reported the results, elevating the scores, thus cheating for both. But no actual participant objected. And again, they felt just fine about it.

NYTimes: Cheating’s Surprising Thrill, hier die Studie als PDF

Vorher auf Nerdcore:
Chinese Cheating-Riots
How To Cheat like a Boss
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