(Time) Cheater’s High: Why Not Playing Fair Feels So Good
We like it when we get away with cheating— and not just in relationships.
Call it cheater’s high, or duping delight, but psychologists have long known about the thrill of getting away with pulling one off on others. But for the most part, they’ve found it in psychopaths and others who thrive off the sense of power it gives them over other people.
It turns out, however, that all of us may get a little boost when we cheat, and researchers showed for the first time that, although people think they’ll feel guilty after doing something dishonest or unethical, they actually enjoy a lift in mood instead.
“A lot of it has to do with the cleverness that people feel,” says the study’s lead author Nicole Ruedy, a postdoc at the University of Washington, “The idea that they’ve figured out a way to cheat successfully gives them a sense of accomplishment.”