This Day On The Street
Continue to site
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

Why People And Managers Cheat When The Stakes Are Low

CHICAGO, April 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Why do people readily cheat and lie to those they love?  The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story describing the "little lies spouses tell."  Individuals engage in such behavior in order to provide a protective buffer for their partner or to preserve their happiness.  Now researchers at Emory University, the Wharton School, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have identified the same behavior among managers in organizations.  However, the reasons for this behavior are slightly different.  These researchers found that managers are more likely to cheat their business partner when the stakes are low and when there is a close relationship in place. 


Why is this?  They found that when the stakes are low, there is a tendency to shift away from a cold calculation of cost-benefit reasoning (e.g., will I get a big payoff from lying) to fuzzier forms of reasoning, which they call "moral malleability."  This occurs because individuals and managers who have developed a sense of rapport and understanding between them will tend to evaluate their transactions in more than just economic terms; in other words, they reason that a little opportunism is probably not so bad after all.  So an individual might convince him or herself that the lying or cheating is really not so bad (the consequences and pain are low), the act is victimless, or the partner would not really mind.  They may even conclude that the partner already knows low levels of cheating are happening regularly and tacitly approves of this activity (and most likely engages in it themselves!).

Using a series of experiments, the researchers found that not only that the cheating and opportunism was not limited to hypothetical choices, but to actual monetary cheating against their partners. 

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr 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

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

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
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $95.18 1.64%
FB $117.43 -0.96%
GOOG $692.36 -0.84%
TSLA $232.32 -3.92%
YHOO $36.01 -1.42%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,750.91 -140.25 -0.78%
S&P 500 2,063.37 -18.06 -0.87%
NASDAQ 4,763.2240 -54.37 -1.13%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs