Cheating is Contagious…

This article from The New York Observer claims that one person cheating will make others more likely to cheat, which is consistent with other observations of human behavior that indicate we respond to cues from those around us.  Like yawning.

Our Cheating Hearts: Honor, Integrity and Playing by the Rules are All Out of Style

By Patrick Clark 8/15 8:00am

Illustration: Mark Hammermeister

“I guess I’m not as cynical as you are,” Neil Barofsky, former watchdog for the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program and presently the busiest cynic caught up in the government’s entanglement with the banking business, told The Observer.

In a time when everyone seems to be cheating—and most everyone getting away with it—we’d put it to Mr. Barofsky that there doesn’t seem to be much percentage in honest behavior. If Wall Street executives, tween idols and journalistic heavyweights are shirking the rules to get ahead, doesn’t it make sense for the commoners to do the same?

“THE UNETHICAL TENDENCY is a human universal,” said Paul Piff, a post-doctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. But not everyone bends and breaks the rules equally.

Mr. Piff’s research shows that the rich are more likely to cut off other drivers, or cheat in games of chance, and subjects who identified greed as a positive value were more likely to cheat.

Read more from the New York Observer… .

2 thoughts on “Cheating is Contagious…

  1. Pingback: Moral Dimensions of the Commons | Sustainability Ethics

  2. Pingback: Introduction to Game Theory | Sustainability Ethics

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