Is that the answer you had in mind? The effect of perspective on unethical behavior

Amos Schurr, Ilana Ritov, Yaakov Kareev, Judith Avraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We explored how the perspective through which individuals view their actions influences their ethicality, comparing a narrow perspective that allows for evaluation of each choice in isolation, to a broad perspective that promotes an aggregate view of one's choices. To examine unethical behavior we employed a computerized variation of a trivia game that challenges the player's integrity because, rather than choosing the correct answer, players indicate whether the correct highlighted answer is the answer they had in mind. In Experiment 1 perspective was modified through the choice procedure: broad perspective evoked by an aggregate decision regarding the upcoming test items and narrow perspective evoked by a segregated decision regarding each upcoming test item. In Experiment 2 perspective was evoked through differential priming. Across both experiments, when given a monetary incentive to succeed, the adoption of a narrow perspective increased cheating, as evidenced by overall higher reported success rates.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)679-688
Number of pages10
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • Broad perspective
  • Cheating
  • Dishonest behavior
  • Ethical decision-making
  • Ethicality
  • Narrow perspective

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Applied Psychology


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