Currently viewing the tag: "cheating"

“As an emotion, disgust is designed as a protection,” said Vikas Mittal, the J. Hugh Liedtke Professor of Marketing at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business. “When people feel disgusted, they tend to remove themselves from a situation. The instinct is to protect oneself. People become focused on ‘self’ and they’re less likely to think about other people. Small cheating starts to occur: If I’m disgusted and more focused on myself and I need to lie a little bit to gain a small advantage, I’ll do that. That’s the underlying mechanism.”

In turn, the researchers found that cleansing behaviors actually mitigate the self-serving effects of disgust. “If you can create conditions where people’s disgust is mitigated, you should not see this (unethical) effect,” Mittal said. “One way to mitigate disgust is to make people think about something clean. If you can make people think of cleaning products — for example, Kleenex or Windex — the emotion of disgust is mitigated, so the likelihood of cheating also goes away. People don’t know it, but these small emotions are constantly affecting them.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene where your protagonist is so disgusted that he or she feels entitled to cheat.

Journaling Prompt: Does the way you feel affect  your integrity? Write about several examples.

Art Prompt: Disgust

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the phenomenon of cheating and what allows people to feel entitled to do it.

Photo Credit: Geoffrey Meyer-van Voorthuijsen on Flickr

Pete Seeger Being generous of spirit is a wonderful way to live

Researcher Dr Wojtek Przepiorka, from the Department of Sociology at Oxford University, said: ‘When acts of generosity occur naturally with no concern for how they are perceived by others, they can be effective signals of trustworthiness. Charity balls are places where people can openly display their generosity, but in this case, because people know they are going to be observed, this might be a strategic gesture and less telling of their true character. We regard acts of genuine generosity as those produced spontaneously and these are widely seen as a reliable indicator of trustworthiness even when they are small gestures. ‘
Professor Diego Gambetta, a Nuffield College Official Fellow from Oxford University who is now on leave at the European University Institute, said: ‘Our experiments showed that cheating comes in clusters — a large portion of people who were mean were also prepared to lie about it, and those who lied were much more likely to be untrustworthy, as if one sin promotes another. It appears that people widely regard generosity and trustworthiness as being “cut from the same cloth” as far as human characteristics are concerned. However, some people display generosity when it is likely to be in their own advantage. In our experiments, we also find that those who are guilty of “strategic” displays of generosity themselves are more likely to spot strategic generosity in others.’ –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene about a large charity event. Include the internal monologue of a character who is using the event as a strategic way of building trust.

Journaling Prompt: How do you decide that someone is trustworthy?

Art Prompt: Generosity

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about creating trust in relationships.

Photo Credit: BK on Flickr

3973 Problem solving

…people who cheated on a problem-solving task–while having little to gain–experienced a kind of ‘cheater’s high’ (Ruedy et al., 2013). They felt more satisfied with themselves and happier than those who didn’t cheat.
Some people were even specifically reminded after the study how important it was not to cheat. Perversely, these people felt even better!
Even more confusingly, when asked, most people in the study thought that someone who cheated would feel worse, or at least ambivalent afterwards. So, their prediction of how cheaters would feel was completely wrong. –Jeremy Dean

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write about a character who is addicted to the cheater’s high.

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever cheated? If so, how did you feel about at the time? A while after?

Art Prompt: Cheater’s High

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the problem of cheating and the cheater’s high.

Photo Credit: godzillante|photochopper on Flickr

Scrabble Summary

Our studies suggest that more positive attitudes toward greed and the pursuit of self-interest among upper-class individuals, in part, drive their tendencies toward increased unethical behavior,” said lead researcher Paul Piff of UC Berkeley.

The research revealed that relative to the lower class, upper-class individuals are more likely to break the law while driving, more likely to exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies, more likely to take valued goods from others, more likely to lie in a negotiation, more likely to cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize and more likely to endorse unethical behavior at work.

“The relative privilege and security enjoyed by upper-class individuals give rise to independence from others and a prioritization of the self and one’s own welfare over the welfare of others–what we call ‘greed,'” explained Piff, whose research was funded in part by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

“This is likely to cause someone to be more inclined to break the rules in his or her favor, or to perceive themselves as, in a sense, being ‘above the law,'” he said and therefore become more prone to committing unethical behavior. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a story, scene or poem about entitlement in an upper class protagonist.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you were affected by someone who felt entitled.

Art Prompt: Greed

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the problem of entitlement in today’s culture.

Photo Credit: erix! on Flickr

Welcome to the Carnival of Creativity for March 18, 2012. All links will open in a new tab or window, so feel free to click through and leave some love in the comments. Once you close that window, you’ll be right back here for more linky goodness.


World Story Telling Day is this week. The 2012 theme is “Trees.” Share your best story, article, poem, photo, or artwork about Trees at my personal blog.

 Writing Quote of the Week

Esther Inglis-Arkell shares a list of the Ten Science and Technology Breakthroughs That Caused Widespread Panic. Look at what made number 1 on the list:
1. Writing – No less a source than Socrates was worried about this new-fangled thing called writing that he’d heard about. He warned people that, “create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories.” It was isolating as well. More importantly, he worried about all those children learning to read whatever writing they got their hands on. If they did, they could independently read horrible, immoral, or overly-fanciful tales that would warp their minds. If this is sounding awfully familiar to you, it’s because it sounds familiar to everyone. The same was said about the printing press, the radio, the television, and the movies. Of course it’s also been said about the internet. A recent study that warned that the internet, easy access to all kinds of written material, will take out our memory. This historical scare can give consolation to both sides. Those who feel it’s overblown can point out that the more things change the more they stay the same. Those who want us to heed the warning can mention that they are on the side of Socrates.

Writing Tips and Prompts

Mark Nichol gives us an alternative to “he said” in Attribute Tags and Their Alternatives at Daily Writing Tips.


Since we missed last week’s carnival, I’ve got two podcasts of Writing Excuses to recommend to you. The first is on the importance of criticism for writers with guest David Brin. Second, another episode of microcasting where the Writing Excuses crew answers questions from their Twitter streams.

Spam of the Week

Exactly the details we is within search of. Should certainly disrupt my personal costs quickly.

That’s all for this week. Be sure to submit your article for next week’s Carnival of Creativity by Saturday at midnight!

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Cheat ! (Edit 1)

Creative people are more likely to cheat than less creative people, possibly because this talent increases their ability to rationalize their actions, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

“Greater creativity helps individuals solve difficult tasks across many domains, but creative sparks may lead individuals to take unethical routes when searching for solutions to problems and tasks,” said lead researcher Francesca Gino, PhD, of Harvard University. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene about someone who cheats. What is the inner monologue that the person goes through to rationalize the cheating?

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time you cheated. How did you rationalize it to yourself?

Art Prompt: Cheat

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the epidemic of cheating in society today and give some suggestions for curbing it.

Photo Credit: Craig Sunter on Flickr