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Description: Consider this question. Who is more likely to cheat, someone who just won the competition for someone who just lost? From a social psychological perspective why do you think things will work out this way? After you’ve answered these questions read the article linked below and then think some more about this question.

Source: Does Winning Lend Itself to Cheating? Rick Nauert, Psych Central

Date: February 3, 2016

Image by tswedensky from Pixabay

Links: Article Link:

So how did you do? The study in which this article is based suggested that individuals who one a competition were more likely to cheat and subsequent situations than were those lost in the competition. The researchers were also able to show that the subsequent cheating was directed not so much a personal advantage as it was at winning again (or beating others again). The researchers speculate that this effect may have something to do with a sense of entitlement that can occur amongst winners of competitive events seem at least temporarily perhaps to perceive themselves as being better than and therefore more entitled to winnings than their competitors.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Describe the possible reasons offered by the authors of the research article being discussed for why winners might be more likely to cheat the losers on subsequent tasks?
  2. Can you think of situations in the real world perhaps in relation to sporting events or other competitions with the sorts of effects can or might be observed?
  3. What sorts of implications might this research have for how parents, teachers, and coaches ought to think about how they talk about winning and losing to their children, students, players?

References (Read Further):

Schurr, A., & Ritov, I. (2016). Winning a competition predicts dishonest behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201515102.