Creative People More Likely to Cheat
Creative people are less honest than those with less active imaginations, a new study has claimed.
Creative people more likely to cheat
Research published by the American Psychological Association found that creative-minded people were far more likely to cheat and behave unethically, possibly because their greater imagination allowed them to rationalise their actions.
“Greater creativity helps individuals solve difficult tasks across many domains, but creative sparks may lead individuals to take unethical routes when searching for solutions to problems and tasks,” study leader Francesca Gino from Harvard University said.
Gino and her co-author Dan Ariely from Duke University conducted five experiments to test their theory that more imaginative people were more likely to behave unethically than less creative people.
After using a series of accredited psychological tests to establish the creativity and intelligence of research subjects, study leaders asked participants to complete several tasks or tests.
The applicants were paid to show up for each task, and were told they would be paid more if they cheated.
In one experiment, subjects were presented with a general knowledge test and told that they would be paid more for every correct answer.
Once they had completed the test, participants were asked to transfer their answers onto another sheet of paper, which the study leader said she had photocopied incorrectly so that the correct answers were faintly marked.
The more creative people changed their answers to the correct options when transferring them onto the other sheet of paper, while less imaginative participants stuck to their original responses, even if they knew they were incorrect and would thus earn them less money.
Interestingly, the experiments showed no link because intelligence and dishonesty, with very intelligent but less creative people no more likely to cheat.
“The results indicate that, in fact, people who are creative or work in environments that promote creative thinking may be the most at risk when they face ethical dilemmas,” Gino said.
Your say: How do you think you would have behaved if you were in the above experiment? Would you be honest or cheat to get more money?