Cheaters Wrongly Attribute Their Success to Intelligence
Individuals who cheat in life quickly ignore the fact that their success is fraudulent, believing instead that their own abilities will carry them to even greater heights.
Individuals who cheat in life quickly ignore the fact that their success is fraudulent, believing instead that their own abilities will carry them to even greater heights. When this doesn't pan out, cheaters could be in for a rude awakening, says Tom Stafford, psychology and cognitive science lecturer at the University of Sheffield, UK.
Stafford analyzes a study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, conducted by Zoë Chance of Yale University and Dan Ariely of Duke University. To test the self-deception of cheaters, researchers gave all study participants an exam of general knowledge questions. Some exams arrived to individuals with the answers "accidentally" printed on the bottom.
The group of test takers who received the answers along with the exam scored categorically higher, so to test whether people would recognize that their success was partially a result of cheating, researchers asked them to predict their achievement on future tests.
Surprisingly, the group of cheaters did not recognize that their achievement was aided by fraudulent success and predicted they would score higher than the non-cheating group on the next exam. The study explained:
"We find that those who exploit opportunities to cheat on tests are likely to engage in self-deception, inferring that their elevated performance is a sign of intelligence. This short-term psychological benefit of self-deception, however, can come with longer-term costs: when predicting future performance, participants expect to perform equally well — a lack of awareness that persists even when these inflated expectations prove costly."
However, the presence of cognitive biases that mislead us in our perception of reality is not the enemy. Rather than trying to do away with our biases, the smarter approach is to become aware of them. As Peter Baumann explains, biases are essential to survival, and becoming aware of them can bring us closer to the truth about ourselves and our existence:
"The interesting thing is really not to try to do away with these biases, but to really ... understand that they cloud our clear thinking. That goes anywhere from self-deception to uniqueness bias ... You know, basically the brain evolved for us to make ourselves special, to think of us as valuable. Otherwise we would not be able to go through the strains and the struggles and difficulties of life."
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
- Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.
A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.
Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you.
A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.
- A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
- This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
- The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.