Does sitting at a big desk make you cheat?

Posted on July 11, 2013

There could be an upside to being confined to that tiny cubicle at work: It may make you less likely to cheat.

A new study to be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science finds that sitting at a large workspace or in a big seat in a car can make people feel more powerful β€” and therefore, lead them to act more deceptively.

The research, titled β€œThe Ergonomics of Dishonesty,” was led by Andy Yap of MIT (who conducted the research while at Columbia University) and Dana Carney of the University of California, Berkeley. With their collaborators, they found that in laboratory studies, people who were asked to reach around a larger desk pad to complete a project were more likely to cheat when completing subsequent tasks than the participants who sat at smaller spaces.

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Source material from Washington Post