The Royal Society

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Instructions & Supplemental Results from Creative thinking does not promote dishonesty

journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-17, 13:30 authored by Moritz Reis, Roland Pfister, Wilfried Kunde, Anna Foerster
We assessed the relation of creativity and unethical behaviour by manipulating the thinking style of participants (N = 450 adults) and measuring the impact of this manipulation on the prevalence of dishonest behaviour. Participants performed one of three inducer tasks: the alternative uses task to promote divergent thinking, the remote associates task to promote convergent thinking, or a simple classification task for rule-based thinking. Before and after this manipulation, participants conducted the mind game as a straightforward measure of dishonesty. Dishonest behaviour increased from before to after the intervention, but we found no credible evidence that this increase differed between induced mindsets. Exploratory analyses did not support any relation of trait creativity and dishonesty either. We conclude that the influence of creative thinking on unethical behaviour seems to be more ambiguous than assumed in earlier research or might be restricted to specific populations or contexts.