JUN 02, 2017 06:35 AM PDT

So you say you don't cheat


Have you ever cheated on a test? There was a particularly poignant spelling test in the first grade when I sneaked a look a another student's test, and I still remember to this day how guilty I felt after. (I ended up telling my mom and she made me apologize to my teacher and the other student.) It's that developing moral compass that researchers think is why kids cheat sometimes; they're still learning what's right and wrong and the social and moral consequences for acting "poorly". As we grow up, the thought is that we become less self-centered and more moral, which prohibits us mentally from committing a looked-down upon action.

Cost-benefit analysis is another aspect of cheating. If the reward for cheating appears to be greater than the risk of getting caught, people are more likely to cheat. This sub-conscious decision is of course very subjective to the person and the situation. Cheating on the SATs, for example, might seem to have a bigger benefit (getting into a good college) for some, while it might have a bigger cost (getting caught and facing the consequences) for others.

However, a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology says that we might cheat on a unconscious level, and it could be due to our hormones. Researchers distributed a math test to a group of people, instructing them to grade the test themselves. The people in the group knew that the more questions they got correct, the more money they would receive. The subjects also swabbed their cheek saliva before and after the test and it was found that people with higher testosterone and cortisone levels were more likely to cheat. Extra testosterone gives us the courage to cheat while cortisone gives us the motivation, explains the study. To find out why that is, watch the video!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
NOV 17, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 17, 2019
How Large Solar Storms Can Impact Earth's Power Grid
The Sun is a powerful ball of energy, and with that in mind, it should come as no surprise to anyone that it can sometimes become unstable. Over time, the...
NOV 17, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 17, 2019
Why the Search for Other Planets is So Captivating
Astronomers are continuously searching for other planets, whether those reside right here in the solar system with us, or far away in another stellar syste...
NOV 17, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 17, 2019
Why Do Camels Have Humps?
Camels are predominantly known for the humps that appear on their backs, and believe it or not, those humps are filled with body fat. Some camels sport jus...
NOV 17, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 17, 2019
Starlink Aims to Provide Cutting-Edge Worldwide Internet Access
Almost everyone has heard by now that Elon Musk wants to launch well over 40,000 new satellites into space to deliver high-speed and low-latency internet t...
NOV 17, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 17, 2019
SpaceX Puts Another 60 Starlink Satellites Into Orbit
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that stood tall and proud at the launch pad at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station ignited its engines and lofted a g...
NOV 17, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 17, 2019
China to Create National Parks System
In one of the last remote regions of the world, the Chinese Government is pushing back against development and towards its version of the United States&rsq...
Loading Comments...