Mind cheating

Published on November 20th, 2013 | by No Artificial

Cheaters Use Mind Tricks to Feel Less Guilty

A new study reveals how cheaters use cognitive tricks to feel good about themselves.

For most of us cheating is considered immoral. At the same time almost everyone believes that he or she is moral and good and somehow even better than the rest.

So why “moral and good people” cheat?

In a new study conducted at the University of Southern Alabama, a teem of researchers analyzed the behaviors of cheaters in order to see how they coped with their actions.

The researchers randomly assigned individuals to be either “faithful” or “unfaithful”.

Due to the fact that the study’s authors could not ask people to cheat on their partners, both sides agreed that for this research, the degree of interaction between two people could be understood as a mild form of infidelity.

All participants were asked to remember their past romantic relationship and then to think about someone, other than their past lover, whom they were attracted to while they were in that relationship.

As a next step, the participants answered questions and were measured on an infidelity scale.

Throughout the measuring process, the subjects were given incorrect facts to make them believe that they were higher or lower than average relating to past infidelity compared to other contributors.

The researchers observed that individuals who were made to feel more unfaithful had more negative emotions and the negative state of guilt than people who were considered faithful.

Those made to feel unfaithful were much more likely to report that they did not like themselves.
They have also tried to downplay their infidelity. Many of them said that it was not important and it did not represent them.

The researchers claim to have proven that despite the fact that people might feel bad about cheating, they would always find ways to feel less guilty.

“These results are generally consistent with the view that infidelity is a dissonance arousing behavior and that perpetrators of infidelity respond in ways that reduce cognitive dissonance”, the study’s authors stated.

Resource:
SAGE Journals: “It did not mean anything (about me)
Cognitive dissonance theory and the cognitive and affective consequences of romantic infidelity”; Joshua D. Foster⇑, Tiffany A. Misra.

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