A new study in the journal Psychological Science suggests that the human tendency to cheat is a natural impulse, and that given some time for reflection, humans are less likely to cheat.

The research experiment — conducted by Shaul Shalvi, a psychologist at the University of Amsterdam, and his colleagues, Ori Eldar and Yoella Bereby-Meyer of Ben-Gurion University in Israel — sought to discover how people acted about the result of a die roll when asked about it immediately, and then when given time to think.

What did the researchers find?

The conclusion, therefore, at least in the matter of cheating at dice, is that sin is indeed original. Without time for reflection, people will default to the mode labelled “cheat”. Given such time, however, they will often do the right thing. If you want someone to be honest, then, do not press him too hard for an immediate decision.

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