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Why people cheat repeatedly – Study

It is a common phenomenon for people to shy away from their past wrongdoings from time to time. A recent research of a team called ‘unethical amnesia’, led by Maryam Kouchak of Northwestern University and Francesca Gino of Harvard University, used nine experiences to make their findings to justify the logic behind it when people tend to remember their past good actions and detach themselves from the bad ones.

The research was able to establish that participants who engage in unethical behaviour hardly have clear memories of their actions compared to those who emphatically engage in ethical behaviour.

It was also discovered that participants who find it difficult to recall their unethical behaviour are likely to repeat the action more often. It thereon becomes complicated and over time result to discomfort and psychological breakdown.

The study suggests unethical amnesia is one of the ways the participants use to maintain their positive self-image.

The researchers stated that, ‘Our findings further demonstrate the critical role of moral self-concept as we construct and reconstruct experiences to maintain our moral self-image intact regardless of our behaviour.’

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