This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

'Moral Reminders' May Help Clean Up Wall Street

In one of the experiments that Ariely ran, some students would get cash on the spot when they reported to the room monitor how many problems they'd solved correctly. But other students were forced to go through two steps, first reporting to one person what they were owed and getting plastic chips representing the amount; and then walking over to a table to pick up their money. The ones who had a step separating their lie from their receipt of the money cheated twice as much.

There's probably no risk that it will put insider-trading rings out of business, but Ariely does come up with promising ideas about honor codes. He tempted students from several universities to cheat, thinking that the ones from Princeton, which has a long-established and rigid code of honor, would cheat less than the ones at MIT and Yale. But he learned that all it took was two weeks from the time Princeton freshmen had finished their ethics training before they would cheat in Ariely's experiments just as much as the others.

That, of course, is nothing to be inspired about, but along the way, Ariely observed this: Remind someone about their ethical obligations right before they're exposed to temptation, and they're less likely to cheat. Remind them after -- like asking for a signature at the end of an exam -- and it's too late. A takeaway from the honor code research is that if you remind people early and often to do the right thing, it actually makes a difference.

3 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,429.74 +238.37 1.39%
S&P 500 2,021.16 +19.00 0.95%
NASDAQ 4,681.17 +43.1760 0.93%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs