Research Shows Cheating May Boost Creativity

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Could cheating boost creativity?

A new study says yes.

The research, out of Harvard Business School and the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, suggests that lying about your performance on one thing could increase creativity in another.

To test the link between cheating and creativity, researchers designed a series of experiments that allowed for — and practically encouraged — cheating.

According to researchers, 59% of the study’s respondents cheated by increasing their performance on a test involving number matrices. And interestingly, those who cheated subsequently performed better on a word association test commonly used to assess creativity.

“The common saying that ‘rules are meant to be broken’ is at the root of both creative performance and dishonest behavior,” summarizes lead researcher Francesca Gino, of Harvard Business School. “Both creativity and dishonesty, in fact, involve rule breaking.”

In other words, “cheating may encourage subsequent creativity by priming participants to be less constrained by rules.”

To read more on the study, click here.

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