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A Scientific Look into Why People Cheat During Game Nights

Author:   GPI  
Published:  February 23, 2016

 Researcher Amos Schurr from Ben-Gurion University and Professor IIana RitovIn of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem conducted four experiments to test why people cheat. In the first experiment, people played two games, participants couldn't cheat. The winners and loser were then broken down into two groups. Schurr said “We let half the participants, winners and losers alike, throw dice and told them they could collect money in an amount corresponding to the number that came up on that dice.”


In the second test, the participants were asked to remember either a prior time when they had won a competition or a prior time when they had achieved a goal.

There's a difference: Winning a competition means winning over other contestants; winning a goal means winning an achievement.

The people who remembered winning a competition tended to overclaim their dice rolls, whereas the people who remembered winning a goal did not.

According to Schurr, "When success is measured by social comparison, as is the case when winning a competition and by such a comparison, I mean to the feeling that I'm better than the rest I learned that the potential for dishonesty increases."

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