Cheating to get ahead is likely to reduce your level of happiness. That’s according to a new study by University of California, Riverside sociology professor Jan E. Stets. The study, titled “Happiness and Identities,” was published in the journal Social Science Research.
In the study, Stets examined happiness in a morally challenging situation. Students were recruited from undergraduate classes at a large university to participate in an experiment in which individuals completed a task alone or in a group of three. They were told that doing well on the task would increase their chances of earning money at the end of the study.
Of the 284 participants, 93 worked on the task alone, and 191 worked in groups. Participants were told either that they were competing against another individual (if they were completing the task alone) or against other groups (if they were completing the task in a group) – and that whichever individual or group scored better on the task would have an increased chance of winning money.
– Mojgan Sherkat