Goal Setting Causes Cheating

Setting goals and then missing them may make people more likely to cheat than if they hadn’t had any goals, especially if they missed them by just a little. This Wharton article, Goal setting and Cheating: Why They Often Go Together in the Workplace – Knowledge@Wharton, talks about several studies that relate goal setting to cheating and gives very tangeable, believable examples. It does end on a positive note with some suggestions for how to minimize cheating. For example, they suggest that the rewards should be graduated, so if selling one more car will win you a trip to Hawaii, there had better be a pretty good second prize or you’re likely to cheat on that last car.