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Winning a competition predicts dishonest behavior

OPEN Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | 3 Feb 2016

A Schurr and I Ritov
Abstract
Winning a competition engenders subsequent unrelated unethical behavior. Five studies reveal that after a competition has taken place winners behave more dishonestly than competition losers. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that winning a competition increases the likelihood of winners to steal money from their counterparts in a subsequent unrelated task. Studies 3a and 3b demonstrate that the effect holds only when winning means performing better than others (i.e., determined in reference to others) but not when success is determined by chance or in reference to a personal goal. Finally, study 4 demonstrates that a possible mechanism underlying the effect is an enhanced sense of entitlement among competition winners.
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Concepts
Theft, Cultural studies, Dishonesty, Demonstration, Human behavior, Intrinsic value, English-language films
MeSH headings
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