Thursday, April 10, 2008

Don't beleive in free will? Cheater!

This article Behavior: An Absence of Free Will, a Tendency to Cheat was emailed to me by my Metaphysics professor. Two studies were done that suggest that those who doubt free will are more likely to cheat. The article is really short.

The first study seems completely annoying, and I'm not sure I would've cheated. But the second study promised $1/right answer. If I were promised $1/right answer I think I woulda cheated as well.

This was a study, not a regent. If I were to get caught all my regents would be disqualified. But then again, I would feel guilty about lying during a study.


Anonymous said...

If Hashem controls the world and knows what you will do and you want to cheat then you have no choice but to cheat as G-D already knows about it anyway so you may as well do it.

(Head hurting yet?)

frumskeptic said...

Punk: I think thats what we said in the metaphysics class. That if everything is predestined, then our cheating is as well, therefore why shouldnt we. lol

and I'm used to these arguments, takes alot more to give me a headache...hehe.

Orthoprax said...

Eh, I'm suspicious. According to the experiment, the neutral group who graded themselves didn't take any more money than the free will encouraged group or than the groups that could not cheat. But we should expect them to naturally take more just because people generally cheat.

The fact that the experiment was not double-blinded suggests to me that the determinism-hinted group was somehow invited to take more money unrelated to the passages they read before the test. I'd also like to know whether the experimentees spoke with each other. And when, relative to the other groups, did the determinism-hinted group go? Maybe they were informed of the questions or were told the answers beforehand.

The Babysitter said...

But if someone believes that everything is destined, then they wouldn't assume they're destined to cheat. They could think their destined to do well by being righteous.
I would say the reason why people cheat is because they don't fear a power above them. As long as no one sees them cheat they're ok with it and don't have a self conscience that tells them its wrong. You need to have a sense of morals in order not to fall into the trap of cheating.

Anonymous said...

I totally doubt free will, or at least I have my issues w/ it and I totally cheat any chance I get: games, tests, anything. However, I would never cheat with money though, cause then it becomes stealing. Actually I am a compulsive cheater, never associated it with free will issues, but something to think about :).

fav. anonymous.

mlevin said...

anon: But if you cheat in a game you are stealing a thrill of winning and you are stealing self-confidence from your opponent.

And if you're cheating on a test you are undermining the hard work other students put in their studying, basically you are stealing from their just deserves.

For example a teacher gives a difficult test, the highest grade is 80, except for a cheater who got 95. Cheater's 95 makes two statements; one that teacher made a fair test and two that another student who got an 80 could have put in more effort to get a higher grade.

Anonymous said...

I am not stealing the thrill of winning, I'm still thrilled when I win.
For example on shabbos I sometimes play taboo with friends of ours - if I happen to see the card and know what the person is acting out...I'm thrilled :-) hehehe

frumskeptic said...

mlevin: Sometimes NOT cheating on a test is so dumb. Like as a philosophy major I couldnt give two you-know-whats about chem. I hate chem. I dont have time to read chem between the million papers i have to write towards my what do I do? I have my sister take my chem quizzes online, and then cram before midterm/final becuase I have no other choice... I do fairly well, and the quizzes my sis takes for me give me extra points.

Anonymous: I dont understand cheating on a game. THe whole fun of a game it to master it. Like I play Sims 2 ALL the time. THe first time one of my guys got pregnant and had alien children I felt soo good. Had I had a cheat code= not so fun. Also, when my people get raises and such and promotions I feel like I accomplished something with them. Then I mastered the game.

No fun to have the cheat codes, unless ou're using the game strictly to decorate the house...but then you can buy a house designer program. The games are fun!

OH yea...and I'm not so sure of my POV on free will is. I cant make up my mind. Maybe I'll ad free will to my "2 write list" I have like 10 of them waiting...dunno...w/e.

Babysitter: Its not that people assume they're predestined to cheat, its just that since their futures are already predetermined, whether or not they cheat is irrevelant. They'll make it to point X even if they dont do it in the typical manner.

frumskeptic said...

Babysitter: I really fear Gd. I see nothing wrong with cheating. Infact I get paid to write peoples papers, like I wrote to mlevin, my sister takes my chem quizzes for me, etc.

I however wouldn't cheat in business nor would I steal. But if I were at a study and someone were stupid enough to give me money for every right answer, I probably would chat. Its like they're asking for it.

The Babysitter said...

I never thought of it that way. So your saying people believe that the end is destined for them, but not the means to get there. But does that just mean that they believe they are destined to die? or more than that?

right I remember you told me about the papers. But I guess there's different levels of cheating. Those kinds aren't so bad. Like last time I asked about a test bank and I think it came out that its okay and not cheating.

But then like you said stealing money would be a higher level. Any kind of cheating that involves robbing innocent people would be wrong.

But there are still some people that will stick to their principles of what they believe cheating is, what they feel is honest or not, and no matter what they won't cave in. What causes them to be like that? just their personality? or something more?

Although maybe if you think of free will as the battle between the yetzer hora and the yetzer tov, then it could make sense. A person thinks about the battle every time they make the decision and they think the yetzer hora is telling them to cheat, so if they believe they have free will to overcome the yetzer hora then they won't do it.

But then most people believe in the yetzer hora and yetzer tov too, so it can't be that....

Moshe said...

I cheat in games quiet frequently. I play first person shooters, adventure games, role playing games, etc. I mostly cheat because I don't have time nor interest to play the game the way the developers wanted me to. I play for the story and for the fun, not to become the absolute best, there's way too many games coming out to do that.
Cheating on a test. If the subject is not part of your major and you're not interested in it and forced by the school to take it, why not, waste of time anyway. If it's part of your major, you're cheating yourself so either way it's your choice.
As far as stealing goes...who doesn't download something or everything.

The Babysitter said...

I'm doing my philosophy EC questions now, and one of the questions is about Aristotle and free will. So I was going through my notes and it said: Deliberation is when a person figures out what the possibilities are of what they can do. While a Wish is not a real possibility. Then once a person deliberates and makes a choice then they become responsible for it. That deliberation is like free will.

So anyways it reminded me of this post of yours. So it makes sense, that if a person believes they have free will to choose over their options, and that once they choose their responsible for it, their more likely not to cheat, because they know they will be responsible for it.