Unethical Behavior and Psychology Essay

1811 WordsNov 14, 20138 Pages
Anuj Jain PSY 311 ~ Personality Theory and Research Term Paper Due; November 14th, 2013 Cheater’s High Unethical behavior is generally well established to elicit negative feelings, although there has been some unexpected evidence supporting that although individuals typically expect to have negative feelings before committing an unethical act, acting unethically in itself can trigger positive affects (Ruedy, Moore, Gino, & Schweitzer, 2013). Unethical behavior for this study is behavior that does not involve interpersonal harm, but ‘as acts that violate widely held moral principles’ (Ruedy et al., 2013) such as cheating, stealing, dishonesty, and general behavior that does not harm a specific individual but harming a community as a whole. The study of this possible ‘Cheater’s High’ takes place across six different experimental situations that present valid results in supporting the positive affects associated with post voluntary unethical behavior, and ruling out the possibilities to why unethical behavior causes positive affects in some, but not all cases. Proposed by many psychologist and supported by empirical evidence, negative affects are associated with unethical behavior but generally when harm is caused to an obvious victim, such as administering a shock to an individual or animal, however when dealing with unethical behaviors such as cheating, lying and dishonesty, these unethical behaviors could bring out positive affects rather then negative. Reasoning behind this is proposed by Ruedy et al., 2013, people enjoy engaging in activities that involve successfully deceiving others, known as ‘duping delight’ (Ekman, 2001), and people find objects and experiences that are forbidden or taboo to be more attractive and alluring then those that are not, known as ‘forbidden fruit’ (Alberts, Mulkens, Smeets, Thewissen, 2010). Combination of these two

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