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Monday, March 6, 2017

Almost All Of You Would Cheat And Steal If The People In Charge Imply It's Okay

Charlie Sorrel
Originally posted February 2, 2017

Would you cheat on a test to get money? Would you steal from an envelope of cash if you thought nobody would notice? What if the person in charge implied that it was acceptable to lie and steal? That's what Dan Ariely's Corruption Experiment set out to discover. And here's a spoiler: If you're like the rest of the population, you would cheat and steal.

Ariely is a behavioral scientist who specializes in the depressingly bad conduct of humans. In this lecture clip, he details his Corruption Experiment. In it, participants are given a die, and told they can take home the numbers they throw in real dollars. The twist is that they can choose the number on the top or the bottom, and they only need to tell the person running the experiment after they throw. So, if the dice comes up with a one on top, they can claim that they picked the six on the bottom. Not surprisingly, most of the time, people picked the higher number.

The article and the video is here.