Posted by: Diane | January 19, 2013

Chatting About Cheating

Everybody’s talking about Lance Armstrong these days.

I’ve had a couple of conversations with my neighbours, overheard some customers in the grocery store ranting about the ethics of  a“win at all costs” philosophy, the man walking on the treadmill beside me told me that “this never happened when I was young – everything is so much more complicated now” and the lady in the local flower shop certainly had her own opinion about the terrible way this athlete has treated others.

Lance Armstrong’s confession has us thinking about cheating in all aspects of our lives.

I was watching Katie Couric’s talk show yesterday and one of her guests was Dr. David DeSteno, a social psychologist and author of Out of Character –  Surprising truths about the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and Saint) lurking in all of us. The topic that was being discussed was “cheating” and before the show, Dr. DeSteno conducted what he called, “a little experiment on memory and probability.”  He gave everyone in the audience a foam cup and one die. He explained that he wanted each member of the audience to roll the die three times and remember what numbers he/she got (1-6) each time. After the experiment was completed, he said, “to thank you for taking part in this experiment, we’re going to pay you – if a person rolled a 1, that person would receive $1.00, if a 3 was rolled, he/she would receive $3.00, if a 6 was rolled, the person would receive $6.00 etc. Everyone recorded the results of each toss of the die on a piece of paper, which was then quickly collated by Dr. DeSteno.

When the show began and Katie Couric introduced Dr. DeSteno, he revealed the results of the die roll. He said that a much higher percentage of the audience claimed to have rolled 5s and 6s then probability would allow. In other words, people were cheating.

See the video here.

I also noticed on Katie Couric’s TV show website that there was a quick quiz written by Dr. DeSteno,  to see if you’re a cheater.


Dr. DeSteno says, “The mind has a really great way of rationalizing.” 

He’s right – it’s called sin.  All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3.23) 

Research shows that nearly everyone cheats a little if given the opportunity but I strive for a life of integrity because it’s a slippery slope when it comes to being honest, isn’t it?

Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.                  Proverbs 19.1 ESV

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.                 Proverbs 10.9 ESV


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: