Can watching a violent movie make you more likely to lie, cheat or steal? What about reading a violent book? While that may seem like a stretch, a new research study shows it may be the case.
The study, published in the Journal of Business Ethics, finds that exposure to human violence is strongly linked to an increase in cheating for monetary gain. In other words, violence may be making us less ethical.
“Research shows that violent media increases aggressive behavior towards others, but what we’re showing here is that it goes beyond that,” said study coauthor Josh Gubler, a professor of political science at BYU.
Gubler and coauthor David Wood, a professor of accounting in the Marriott School of Management, carried out three experiments with roughly 1,000 participants (recruited from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk) for the study.