Cognitive Control Helps Cheaters To Stay Honest — And Honest People To Cheat

Many of us are faced with daily temptations to cheat. You might be offered the chance to download pirated music, perhaps. Or you might wonder about passing your child off as younger than they are, to avoid buying them a ticket on public transport.

As the authors of a new paper point out, several lines of research propose that cognitive control is needed for us to resolve the conflict between wanting to cheat and wanting to be honest. We need, in other words, to make an effort to rein in our impulses. However, the new work shows that this means different things for different people. If you’re typically honest, cognitive control can turn you into a cheat. Continue reading →

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