State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Cheating Pays, But Imagine Your Future Self

Cheating can seem great in the long run, but can be detrimental to your future self.  Not many people think about how a decision like making earnings look better or cheating on a test can greatly affect their future. This article explains a little on why this happens and some studies done to show the trends. The researchers used a method that tried to get the subject to connect to themselves. The researchers explained that a person can easily see themselves 3 months down the road but have trouble imagining themselves 20 years in the future. Making the subject confront the 20 year instance might make the difference in making questionable decisions. The researcher, Loran Nordgren, basically said that making the person consider their "future self" can sway the choices made while they are young. The first experiment they did was having the subjects write a letter to their future self in 20 years. After writing the letter they were asked questions and were measured on their decisions. This study showed that people who wrote to their future self were less likely to make questionable decisions compared to the people who wrote to their not so distant self. 

The next experiment was to confront the future self. The researchers made 3D virtual figures that represented either their face either at the same age or at 40 years old. Then the students looked into a virtual mirror and saw these 3D faces. After this, the students took a short quiz. The students that confronted their older self were less likely to cheat on the test while the students who saw their current-self cheat more. 

I think these studies are very interesting because the results to show that if a person looks to their future then the person will make less questionable decisions. Doing this in the work place would be very interesting. It may have some short term affects but after a while a person’s personal life or job may change and once again persuade decisions made. It is a great idea and a great study but I am not sure for how long it would still create an affect. Maybe if companies did this every 4-5 years it would consistently work well and make the overall decision making of a company very ethical and non-questionable. For me, thinking about my future self did put in perspective how I want to be known by myself in 20 years. It is a great way to make a personal check for yourself. This was a great article that will definitely make you think.  


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