cheating

Be it exams or relationships, there are some people who cheat repeatedly, without knowing how much they do it, or why. Now, we have an answer for their cheating.

Why do we indulge in cheating?

cheating

Recent research has pointed out that when we cheat, we forget our past instances of cheating in order to maintain a positive self-image. If we did not do that, we would feel so bad about ourselves that it would be impossible to live.

Therefore, to guard us from the anxiety and bad feeling of living as a cheater, the brain deliberately forgets instances of our past cheating, whereas it clearly remembers others’ transgressions and our own good deeds. This phenomenon is called unethical amnesia, or the deliberate forgetting of the times when we were wrong.
This interesting research included several experiments where people were given the opportunity to cheat on a task, and then it was measured whether they truly report it. While it was a fun and fascinating experience, it has implications for our relationships. If this continues, will the person ever stop cheating?
Forgetting is one option. We know how cheaters often justify themselves. Turns out that they truly believe in the explanation and are not just saying it to save their neck! They believe in it enough and that is the reason they are able to go ahead without completely breaking down. Remember the “she was too beautiful” and the “exam was too tough” excuses?

cheating

Raj (name changed), does admit to this. He said that he would flirt with women in his office and even had an affair with one. Out in the office this would not feel wrong at all. It was as if he has forgotten what life at home is and who his wife is. As soon as he arrived home, he would fell crushing guilt when seeing his family.
So, what do we learn from this? Simply that if we can remind ourselves of what we are doing, we are much more likely to cheat. So if you want to stop cheating on your diet, do not go ahead with the justification of “just this one time” but rather tell yourself, “in full awareness, I am breaking my diet rules knowing the consequences on my diet as well as how guilty it will make me feel later”. Such a sentence does not let us forget the impact of what we are trying to do, and so, helps us to stop cheating.

cheating