Assistant professor of the organisational behaviour and expert in business leadership training at London Business School, Celia Moore connects with other individuals from Harvard University, the university of Washington and University of Pennsylvania to research why people break rules and how they respond to similar situations which they themselves trigger.
The most interesting and perhaps surprising of the findings is that many cheaters discovered that their moods brightened after the act has been committed with little or no indication of remorseful emotions.
Addressing some of the findings from the research, Dr Moor stated, “Most moral theories are based on the idea that we curb our own unethical behaviour because we imagine how guilty we’d feel doing it. Our studies, dispiritingly, show the opposite, that cheating can boost our positive moods. However, our hope is that by acknowledging what actually happens when we do cheat, perhaps we can become more sophisticated at designing systems to reduce it.”
When question about the effect on cheating, subjects response demonstrated a conscious awareness of moral reasoning and behaviour, as most said that they feel remorseful, however, after demonstrating the actual behaviour of a cheat, the results was the opposite as subjects felt better than they were before cheating. The after effect of cheating shows an improvement in moods and behaviour, compared to those who had not participated in the act of cheating.
Dr Moore whose expertise includes organisation relationships and business leadership training joined by the rest of the research team said that the result shows close correlation with the increase of unethical behaviour. The research concluded with a statement saying, "Our documented pattern of results helps to explain otherwise puzzling unethical behavior, such as the finding that people often cheat even for trivial sums of money."
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