Cheating Pays - But Imagine Your Future Self
The article starts off explaining how cheating can be a short term gain, but not work out as well for long term success. People only seem to see the short term benefits and completely ignore the long term effects. Researchers experimented with people who are asked to think about themselves only 3 months down the road, and others to think about themselves in 20 years. One experiment was with writing a letter to yourself 3 months or 20 years down the road and afterwards they were asked about things like buying a potentially stolen computer or illegally downloading music. The individuals who wrote to themselves in 20 years weren't as likely to commit either of these crimes as the people who wrote to themselves only 3 months down the road. An interesting experiment they did was making avatars of students present selves or themselves 20 years older. The researchers gave them a quiz after seeing either their current or future selves and found that the students that saw their future selves were less likely to cheat on that quiz versus the students who saw their present selves. There was a 7 Euro reward for getting 7 out of 8 questions correct which was their incentive to cheat.
This was an interesting article to read because I had never heard of short or long term thinking effecting the thought process on cheating. Since the research is still in the early stages, once it gets more developed and they have more proof of the links between these scenarios it would be smart if they could incorporate things like this into schools and colleges to combat cheating. In the article, they mentioned the thought of putting aged pictures of people on their credit cards to prevent impulse buying. I don't know if seeing a 40 year old version of myself on my credit card will really keep me from buying a couple candy bars and a soda I don't need from the grocery store check out line, but I think the concept is a decent start.
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