Cheating Makes People Feel Good

In a series of experiments, cheating on tasks improved people’s moods, says a team led by Nicole E. Ruedy of the University of Washington. For example, participants who were shown the correct answers to an intelligence test and used them to improve their scores registered a bump from 2.42 to 2.71 on a five-step positive-affect scale, while noncheaters’ moods declined slightly. The researchers point out that this “cheaters’ high” applies only in contexts with no obvious victim.

SOURCE: The Cheater’s High: The Unexpected Affective Benefits of Unethical Behavior

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