Moral Licensing, and Why It's So Hard to Be a Saint

Does a good deed "pay off" a bad deed? A lot of people view their actions this way, says Scotty Hendricks. 

We’ve all done it, reminded ourselves that we have been good before we do something bad. Perhaps just before we eat something a bit too fattening, buy that excessive luxury, or don’t giving a dollar to charity at the store we simply remind ourselves, “It’s okay, I was good earlier”. It’s so common, Subway ran an ad campaign on it in the '90s. The logic being: come on, admit it, you were good earlier, so doing something questionable (like eating at Subway) doesn’t really count.

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