Most of us try to forget our deeds. However, selective memory makes us prone to repeat such offenses
At a time in our lives, in one little way, the lot of us has cheated.
Probably, a spelling quiz in primary school or it was dubbing your best friend's biology assignment.
You might have cheated in an examination hall (tut). Or perhaps you have cheated on your partner?
Wherever your cheating scale, what comes next is important - i.e. How you felt afterward?
Were you ridden with remorse and prepared to come clean? Somewhat remorseful but ready to live with it?
Or, did you develop the inner strength to disremember it instantly, or prepared to carry out your next wrongdoing?
If this situation appears ambiguously familiar to you probably you cannot remember any wrong-doing, then there is seemingly a scientific reason why.
A cheat, remains a cheat?
The concept of a 'selective memory' is a famous concept. But this particular selectiveness might be the reason behind your cheating.
In the world of science, it is referred to as ‘unethical amnesia' and according to scientists at Maryam Kouchak and Francesca Gino, it's this concept that instigates us, over time, to detach ourselves from our bad behavior.
Since this piece was initially printed in May last year, more study has come out to support the notion, 'Once a cheater, always a cheater'.
Science periodical, the Archives of Sexual Behavior has published a new research that shadowed 484 participants in mixed-gender romantic relationships.
The scientists cross-examined partakers to report any sexual affair outside their relationship, and if they distrusted their other half of the same.
The findings clearly demonstrate that individuals who had cheated in the past were three times more prone to do it again when associated with those who stayed faithful.
So how did these discoveries come to be?
Done in the US, and reported by the Daily Mail, the study (published in ' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences') also exposed how we can disremember our own transgressions, we are capable to recall others VERY openly.
The investigators conducted several experiments.
At the initial stage, they probed 343 volunteers to inscribe both moral and immoral actions they were accountable for, and then fill in the questionnaires later.
Another trial saw 70 students occupying themselves with coin-tossing game, where dishonest to win money was somewhat simple things
Two weeks later, each partaker was probed to fill questionnaires concentrating on their memories of the previous game and the food they ate that same evening.
One pound coin
While 43 percent of them testified cheating, these results were a lot less glowing than what they recalled of their meal.
What fate does leave cheating in the future?
To evaluate this, another study was carried which would e encourage or discourage repeated cheating.
This time, 230 students participated in alternative dice throwing game.
After three days, the participants played a word-scramble type game where it was easy to cheat for more money.
Many of the volunteers had difficulty in their previous cheating and therefore were more likely to cheat in this game.
What was discovered by the researchers was that we're able to control our unethical behavior as it aids us to sustain a positive self-image.