Why Honest People Do Dishonest Things

Every day we are bombarded with temptations — to cheat on our diets, to spend instead of save our paychecks, to tell little white lies. It can be exhausting to have to continually remind ourselves that, long-term, we want to be upstanding people, so we shouldn’t make tempting but unethical short-term decisions. But what if simply thinking about dishonesty could make it easier for us to behave ethically? This novel possibility comes from a set of studies that demonstrate that anticipating temptation decreases the likelihood of a person engaging in poor behavior.

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