The article in Reader’s Digest listed every rationales that people use to cheat.
The creativity defense: researchers found that the more “creative” a worker was, the more likely they would be to cheat or steal and justify it.
The status defense: those with more power, or more office space that denotes that power, have a greater sense of right to steal and cheat.
The bonding defense: if you are part of a group (“tribe” is the term used here) that cheats or steals… you are more likely to do so.
The level playing field defense: if a person feels that another person is a cheater or obtains advantages unfairly, then that person feels it is only fair that they “level the field” by cheat or steal from that “wrongdoer”.
The domino effect. Over time minor infractions grow into larger ones. Rule breaking worsens over time. “Kids who cheat on high school exams are 3 times as likely in adulthood to a customer or inflate an insurance claim compared with non-cheaters”, according to the Josephson Institute.
o Keep yourself fed and well-rested. We’re likelier to lapse when hungry or tired.
o When people sign an ethics pledge at the beginning rather than the end of tax forms or job applications – before there’s an opportunity to cheat – they are significantly less likely to be dishonest.
o The same goes when asked to recall the 10 Commandments before a test, which Dan Ariely (behavioral economist at Duke University) found works even among the nonreligious.