Do winners cheat more? New research refutes previous high-level study


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New large-scale research led by the University of Leicester shows that winning does not make people cheat, in stark contrast to a previous high-profile study.

a 2016 paper by Israeli researchers reporting on a series of experiments, which claimed that winners of skill-based competitions are more likely to steal money later. lucky games Against different opponents, as opposed to losers or people who do not see themselves as winners or losers.

This highly cited study for relatively small sample sizes suggested that competitive winning induces a sense of entitlement that encourages cheating.

But now, an expanded and improved study by researchers at the University of Leicester (UK) and the University of Southern California (US), has been published today in the journal Royal Society of Open Sciencerefute the original results.

The international team of researchers found that people with a strong sense of fairness cheat less – regardless of whether they have previously won or lost.

They examined the behavior of 259 participants in a laboratory game of dice rolling – identical to the original study – and 275 participants performing a basic coin-tossing game in an additional online experiment. The results were then analyzed using standard statistics as well as a mathematical technique called structural equation modeling.

The researchers found that a small but significant amount of cheating occurred for the monetary rewards offered, just as in the original study. However, winning didn’t increase subsequent cheating or increase people’s sense of entitlement – and it didn’t either loser.

Instead, the only factor investigated that could explain the insignificant (but significant) amount of cheating that occurred was a low “aversion to inequality”.

People with an aversion to inequality hate unequal results. Those with a strong sense of justice tend to have an aversion to inequality, and avoid cheating because they view the practice as a form of injustice.

Andrew Coleman is Professor of Psychology in the Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behavior at the University of Leicester, and also served as lead author of the new study.

Professor Coleman said: “Fraud and public deception are a growing concern in light of academic disinformation in the digital age, the problems of tax evasion and evasion by the wealthy in advanced economies, and more generally the effects of widening wealth and income inequality on corruption and crime.

“We were surprised by the findings from the 2016 study, which is why we wanted to replicate them with large sample sizes. The small samples of the original study do not have the statistical power to generate firm conclusions.

“We were surprised when it turned out that either of them the win or the loss had any effect on cheating even though there was a great deal of cheat Event. We have provided at least scientifically sound data that gives a clear answer to the question.”

The study showed that students with attention problems are more likely to cheat

more information:
Does competitive winning increase post cheating?, Royal Society of Open Science (2022). DOI: 10.1098 / rsos.202197.

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