Despite the fact that the vast majority of the populace view deception as being inherently wrong in most, if not all of its forms, lying, cheating, and stealing are depressingly common occurrences in everyday life. Today we’re here to share some surprising statistics and facts about people who live the kind of life Eddie Guerrero would be proud of. For example, did you know…
10. High Achievers are Just as Likely to Cheat as Low Achievers on Tests
If we were to ask you to describe the kind of student who is statistically most likely to cheat on a test, we’re guessing you’d describe that student as being a lazy underachiever with no principles, poor personal hygiene and like, a really badly behaved dog. However, according to virtually every study ever conducted about academic dishonesty, there’s no real one-size-fits-all profile for a cheater because a “majority” of modern students cheat in some way. What’s even more worrying is that even high achieving students who would ordinarily succeed on their own anyway, are just as like to cheat as even the most unscrupulous of their peers. If they think they’ll get away with it, that is.
This is because, for the most part, cheating is a crime of opportunity like shoplifting or punching a celebrity, which means even kids who get good grades (and therefore have the most to lose by being caught) will cheat if they genuinely believe they can get away with it. With the advent of the internet it has literally never been easier for students to covertly copy-paste a few lines here and there and as a result, the number of students willing to channel their inner Buzzfeed has slowly been on the rise over the last few years. Oh, and for anyone thinking that these kids must at least feel bad about cheating, yeah, about that…
9. Cheaters Feel Just Great About Lying, as Long as Nobody Gets Hurt
According to the age-old adage, “cheaters never win and winners never cheat,” which is a great quote that we’re guessing has already been superimposed onto just hundreds of unrelated pictures of a Minion from Despicable Me. Even though it’s certainly nice to believe that dishonest students and athletes who intentionally break the rules will invariably feel bad about what they’ve done eventually, research shows that they probably won’t and might actually feel better than people who opted to do things the John Cena way.
According to a 2013 research published by the American Psychology Association, people who get away with an act of dishonesty feel better about themselves afterward so long as they believe nobody was hurt by their actions. This so-called “cheater’s high” occurs mostly after a person commits and subsequently gets away with an act of deceit they believe only affects a faceless entity like a school or the very concept of morality, like cheating on a test or succeeding as a result of an error. In other words, a student who cheats on a test to get an A will, according to science, most likely feel better about themselves than the student who spent all night shotgunning Red Bull and poring over textbooks just to scrape by with a C-.
But hey, if you think that’s bad, just consider that…
8. Young Children Know Plagiarism is Wrong, but 50% of Adult Students Admit to Doing It
As noted above, plagiarism, academic dishonesty, and the urge to change a few words in a Wikipedia article and quote it verbatim for an essay that’s due tomorrow has steadily been on the rise for the last few years thanks in part to how freaking easy it is to plagiarize things these days. We mean, seriously, there are people out there right now earning millions of dollars ripping other, hardworking creative people off. Hell, the guy who wrote this very article has had a joke he wrote two years ago stolen and reposted by people all over the internet.
(Side note: There’s no experience quite as surreal as seeing someone post your own Facebook post word for word and accuse you of stealing it from them.)
Several experts have blamed lack of consistency in how plagiarism is dealt with at an academic level for the current rise in it we’re experiencing, which doesn’t really make much sense. You see, studies have shown that children as young as five seem able to understand the basic concept of plagiarism and recognize that taking someone else’s idea is inherently wrong and something only a doody head would do. Which means that somewhere between age five and 20, children and teenagers either stop recognizing that plagiarism is wrong or simply stop caring, which is why we now have rather depressing statistics that show upwards of 50% of all students have admitted to plagiarizing in some way over their academic career. But hey, for students unwilling to even put in the effort to commit plagiarism, you may like to know that…
7. It’s Surprisingly Easy (and Expensive) to Get a Degree with Little to No Effort
While the internet has undoubtedly made it easier to steal a profound quote to use as your own or snip a few lines from an obscure textbook to bolster an essay, it has also made it easier to catch plagiarists in the act thanks to the existence of websites like Turnitin and CopyScape. This has led to an explosion in interest in ghostwriting services who can deliver anything from a 1,000 word essay to an entire doctoral thesis on how to punch bees in the nads, for a price.
Due to the fact these essays are wholly original, often being written by people with a degree in the subject looking to make a quick buck, they’re almost impossible to detect using conventional means. As a result, students willing to flash the cash can coast through an entire degree without any work whatsoever on their part and still come out at the other end with a PhD in nuclear physics or biochemistry. The services are so comprehensive that you can even hire someone to take an online test in your stead or do an entire research project for you. And hey, with a degree like that, they can go straight into a high-paying career, which leads us to our next point, mainly that…
6. Statistically Speaking, Rich People Shoplift More Than Poor People
Shoplifting, as Nelson Muntz once so eloquently put it, is a victimless crime, like punching someone in the dark. However, it is also often a crime of desperation (which we’ll cover in more depth later on) and is almost universally seen as a crime committed by the most underprivileged members of society.
According to the numbers though, rich people are statistically more likely steal things from stores than poorer people and are way more likely to get away with it, even if they get caught, because apparently the only people in left in our society who wouldn’t punch someone in the face for saying, “Do you know who I am?” all work in law enforcement and the legal system. On top of this, the upper echelons of society are more brazen in what they steal and will often do it, just because they can, as we’ve covered extensively before. Which begs the question, why? Well that may be due to the fact that…
5. Rich People Feel Entitled to Cheat, Lie, and Steal
Some of you reading this may recall the story of the Ethan Couch, a trust fund brat who killed four people and injured two more while driving drunk and underage and got away with it because his lawyer successfully argued that he was simply so used to getting his own way all the time his view of morality had been warped to such a point that shouldn’t be punished. Though this sounds like a bunch of legalese spouted by a lawyer paid exclusively in dollar bills dragged gleefully through an orphanage on a piece of fishing line, it does have some grounding in science.
Research has (somewhat unsurprisingly) shown that the people born into the most privileged backgrounds tend to display narcissistic and egocentric tendencies in later life. For example, drivers of expensive cars are four times more likely to cut someone off in traffic and three times as likely to not yield for a pedestrian. In addition, more affluent people were also less likely to help a person in distress during experiments and donate less money to charity. More tellingly, they were also far more likely to agree with statements like, “I honestly feel I’m just more deserving than other people,” and there was even one experiment that showed rich people were several times more likely than people from more humble backgrounds to literally steal candy from a baby.
So what’s going on here? Well, to put it bluntly, rich people feel entitled to act selfishly because in their minds, they deserve things more than you. More specifically, being given everything they want forever teaches the more prosperous members of society that the world revolves around them. Which explains why so many rich people are caught shoplifting. It doesn’t matter that they could afford to pay for something three times over, a lifetime of instant gratification has taught them that taking what they want isn’t just the norm, it’s how the world works. In their minds their success is a result of their hard work and they’re entitled to reap the benefits. Think about how many times you’ve heard a Republican complain about funding social security because they don’t want their money to go to people who won’t help themselves, despite the fact studies have shown poorer people donate a larger percentage of their wealth to help others than rich people. But hey, this is getting depressing, let’s talk about video games, more specifically how…
4. People Who Cheat at Video Games Invest More in Them Than People Who Don’t
It used to be that all “cheating” in a video game would result in was 30 extra lives to help you beat Contra or Lara Croft inexplicably detonating herself after spinning on the spot and leaping through the air. Today though, cheats, hacks, and mods can pretty much ruin the game for everyone but the cheater.
For example, in online shooting games like Battlefield or Call of Duty, cheaters can pay for mods that let them instantly kill anyone they want with a single button press, effectively turning what was supposed to be comprehensive multiplayer experience into a box of broken toys the cheater can throw at the wall when they feel mad.
With this in mind, you’d think cheaters are the kind of people who don’t particularly care about supporting the game or its developers, which doesn’t exactly ring true. In terms of money and time invested into a given video game, the guys willing to pay money to install an aimbot on their computer because they suck so hard are technically bigger fans than casual players. As discussed here, cheaters often buy multiple copies of the same game for no other reason than to keep playing after their account gets banned for cheating. While we can’t bring ourselves to condone cheating, it’s hard to argue that someone willing to buy seven copies of Counter Strike isn’t a massive fan. Speaking of being an adult…
3. Most Adults Can’t Hold a Conversation Without Lying
We’re probably not going to blow any minds here by saying that everyone lies, because we’ve all clicked the “I Have Read the Terms and Conditions” button on an online form without reading it first. It may surprise you to learn though that about 60% of people can’t hold a simple 10 minute conversation with a stranger without lying at least once. The research also shows that we’re far more likely to lie to people who know us best. For example, while 60% of adults will lie in 10 minute conversation with a complete stranger, that figure shoots up to 69% for spouses, 73% for siblings, 75% for friends, and a whopping 86% for our own parents. Admittedly, the lies told in such conversations are generally harmless, limited mostly to things we assume will make us appear likeable or help us fit in, like having seen a popular movie or hating on Nickelback when we secretly think they’re awesome. But still, it’s kind of jarring to learn the majority of society regularly lies to everybody they meet on a daily basis.
When it comes to online communication, however, people are notably more likely to make more brazen claims to make themselves appear more attractive to the outside world. This is of course most prevalent in online dating, where it’s reported that almost 90% of users lie at least once on their profile, with women lying mostly about their weight and men lying about their height, which isn’t exactly a sin. Then again, not many people know what sins are anyway because…
2. Religious People are More Likely to Cheat, and Don’t Consider it a Sin
Normally you’d think that people wanting to cheat on their spouses would be smart enough to, well, cover it up and that as a result, hard data on the unfaithful husbands and wives of the world would be difficult to come by. As it turns out though, thanks to the site Ashely Madison, which exists literally to help facilitate extramarital affairs, we know a surprising amount about how the minds of the kind of people who would actively seek to cheat on their spouses work.
According to data culled from the profiles of 63,000 users of the site, the majority of them identify as Christian, which isn’t overly surprising considering America is a predominantly Christian country. However, despite over a quarter of male and female respondents claiming to pray regularly, only about 15% thought that cheating, a.k.a. the seventh commandment, was a sin.
While it stands to reason that people on a website dedicated to helping them cheat on their spouse wouldn’t consider cheating to be a sin, it’s sort of strange that devote Christians who admit to praying on a daily basis, would be so blasé about the idea of doing literally one of the 10 things God explicitly said not to do. Which brings us to the eighth commandment and the fact that…
1. The Most Commonly Stolen Items are Kind of Hilarious
While we’ve already talked about the kind of people who steal things today, one thing we didn’t mention is what they steal because we honestly feel that deserves an entry all to itself, mainly because we get to talk about the surprisingly lucrative world of cheese theft.
Yes, according to most every study ever conducted into shoplifting, cheese is one of the most commonly pilfered items from stores alongside more predictable items like alcohol and razor blades. Exactly why cheese is such a commonly stolen item isn’t clear, but it’s assumed to be because it’s somewhat expensive and easy to sell, because who doesn’t like cheese?
Perhaps the most curious item stolen is Tide Detergent, which is stolen in such vast quantities that, as we’ve discussed before, drug dealers will often accept it in lieu of cash because, to quote the guys stealing it, “It’s a leading brand, everybody needs it, and it’s pricey”.
So for anyone reading this who may be a little disheartened to learn that 60% of the world lies to every stranger they meet or that rich people feel entitled to hit you with a car, there are people out there making a fortune stealing cheese and detergent.