Skip to comments.What Strengthens and Weakens Our Integrity – Part III: How to Stop the Spread
Posted on 08/13/2013 9:45:46 AM PDT by marktwain
Welcome back to our series on what weakens our integrity and how to strengthen it. Thus far we have discussed how we decide to commit a dishonest act, and how the distance between that act and its consequences can increase our ability to rationalize immorality as acceptable behavior.
Today we are going to discuss another important factor that influences our comfort level with dishonest decisions: seeing other people make them. Dishonesty as a Social Contagion
As psychology professor Dan Ariely explored the nature and motivations for dishonesty, he found himself wondering whether it might spread from person to person like a social contagion an immorality virus. If people saw someone from their same social group cheating, would it make them more likely to cheat too?
To find the answer to this question, Ariely once more returned to the matrix test that we have referenced in previous posts; in a classroom-like setting, college students are given 20 mathematical matrices to solve in 5 minutes and are paid for each correct answer they get. For this particular test, each member of the control group received an envelope of cash along with a worksheet. When a participant finished, he checked his answers and withdrew the appropriate amount of cash from the envelope. Then he brought his worksheet up to the experimenter who reviewed the answers and how much change was left in the envelope before sending the participant on his way.
In the shredder condition, which allowed for cheating, a participant checked his own answers, withdrew cash from the envelope, shredded his worksheet, placed the envelope with whatever change remained in a box, and left the room all without interacting with the experimenter, who had her head buried in a thick book.
(Excerpt) Read more at artofmanliness.com ...
for a deeper read later
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.