Study: High moral aspirations may lead some to rationalize cheating
People who describe themselves as "honest" or "caring" may be more likely to cheat on tests or in the workplace, according to a new study published in the November issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology. "When faced with a moral decision, those with a strong moral identity" are more likely to rationalize cheating as a means for them to achieve their ultimate altruistic goals, said researcher Scott Reynolds.
Reynolds, S., & Ceranic, T. (2007). Journal of Applied Psychology.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Posted by Lesley Farmer at 8:45 PM
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This makes sense. We live in a world and work in a system that encourages cheating and lying. So why would we be surprised that students have adopted the cultural norm -- after all these are the seeds that have been planted for many years. Is a farmer surprised that stalks of corn come up after he plants corn? Of course not. So why should we be surprised by the moral rationalizations of our students? Instead, those social engineers that were listened to and those policy makers that crafted the legislations, and those judges who manufactured laws out of nothing should rejoice to see that fruit of all their work. Yes, it is a brave new world and we live in it.
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