Do cheats and bullies prosper?
Does it pay to do the right thing? Two new studies suggest that it doesn’t...
In the first study, conducted at the University of Washington, participants completed a number of tests in which it was clearly possible to cheat – although any cheating was also readily apparent to those marking the tests. All participants completed questionnaires to assess their mood both before and after the tests, and afterwards those who had cheated felt significantly better, on average, than those who had not.
Meanwhile, a study conducted at the University of Warwick revisited 1,420 subjects aged 24-26 whose behaviour aged 9-16 had been assessed previously. When findings were broken down into those who had been bullies at school, those who had been bullied, those who had been both and those who had been neither, the researchers found that victims of bullying were significantly more likely to be unemployed or on very low incomes, in ill-health, or be drug and/or alcohol abusers, while their former tormentors were generally healthier and wealthier.