Bad acts spark a 'cheater's high'

People get a charge out of running victimless scams

By Bruce Bower, 12:23 PM September 13, 2013

People who act unethically without harming an obvious victim — think plagiarizing on a term paper or stealing office supplies at work — get a buzz immediately after their transgressions, a new study suggests.

The existence of this “cheater’s high” challenges influential theories holding that any wrongdoing triggers guilt, shame or remorse, say psychologist Nicole Ruedy of the University of Washington in Seattle and her colleagues. Although people expect to feel guilty after breaching ethics, c...

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