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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The consequences of dishonesty

Scott S Wiltermuth, David T Newman, Medha Raj
Current Opinion in Psychology
Volume 6, December 2015, Pages 20–24

We review recent findings that illustrate that dishonesty yields a host of unexpected consequences. We propose that many of these newly-identified consequences stem from the deceiver choosing to privilege other values over honesty, and note that these values may relate to compassion, material gain, or the desire to maintain a positive self-concept. Furthermore, we argue that conflict between these values and honesty can be used to explain the unexpected consequences of dishonest behavior. We demonstrate that these consequences need not be negative, and discuss research that illustrates that dishonest behavior can help actors generate trust, attain a sense of achievement, and generate creative ideas. In addition, we discuss recently-identified negative consequences that can result from privileging other values over honesty.

• Dishonesty yields intriguing consequences that scholars have only recently discovered.
• These consequences may stem from actors privileging other values over honesty.
• Privileging other values over honesty can yield positive consequences.
• The valence of the consequence may depend on the value endorsed over honesty.