Cheating – Why We Do It

If you want some real insights into why people cheat, both in RPGs and in real life, then watch this 15 minute presentation by Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist. Mr Ariely has run a series of experiments to discover why people cheat and what situations make us more or less likely cheat. The results are astounding, revealing how susceptible we are subtle difference in the situation and how they can make an enormous differences to when and how much we all cheat.

Note: If you are short of time, jump to 4:28, where he really starts to talk about cheating. On the other hand, if you some time to kill, have a look at this hour long talk by Mr Ariely as part of the Authors@Google series or check out his book: Predictably Irrational.


  1. Hmm, I’d say it’s more that he really only cared about the cheating. He didn’t care if people are honest. So you’d be honest and…nothing, no one cares. Cheating isn’t just profitable – it actually gets attention. Much like a child being naughty because they enjoy the attention of being told off.

    Really the only thing that makes taking the money different is that someone cares. If you were the last person on earth, would you have a problem walking into a bank vault and taking money? No one else is there to care about it – it’s meaningless without that.

    Great video!

    Callan S.´s last blog post..“There, I’ve got it half built! I wonder what it’s for?”

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