Don’t worry, I’m not talking about cheating in their relationships. A new study by the American Psychological Association has found that creative people are more likely to cheat when it comes to tests and the like. The study claims that because creative people are so flexible in their minds and can generate ideas, they can justify cheating through “self-serving rationalizations,” which means they don’t cheat so severely to the point where they feel bad about it. This study says they tested individuals for creativity and intelligence. And then the subjects were given lab tests that made it easy to cheat.
Both of the tests were paid and the individuals were basically told how to cheat, which seems to have provided an incentive to do so. The researchers did say that this could have been a problem. I’d like to see what the results would have been without the incentive of money. The study says that those who tested high in creativity were the ones who cheated more. It doesn’t say, however, how the subjects were tested for creativity.
I would, one, like to know how they determined creativity because it’s such an open thing. What makes someone creative? You can say being an artist or a writer makes you creative. Others will say the way you arrive at an idea makes you creative. How do you determine creativity through a test? I’m not quite sure. And, two, how accurate can a test be if you’re setting someone up to cheat? If you’re told that a Scantron answer sheet has lightly bubbled in answers because they were photocopied wrong, even if you’re not trying to cheat, you might subconsciously do it.
Most of the people I know that cheat wouldn’t necessarily be classified as creative. I’d classify them as lazy. I consider myself to be really creative, and if I were to cheat I know I’d feel awful about it. I wouldn’t be able to justify cheating because I’m creative and can contribute thoughts. I don’t think being creative makes me, or anyone, more likely to cheat.
What do you think? Does being a creative person make you more likely to cheat?