Day 6

Cheater's high: why do powerful people break the rules?

A look at why people in power break the rules. London Business School professor Celia Moore explains her research, which suggests people who get away with cheating experience a "high" and feel good about it, as long as they think no one is hurt by their dishonesty.
Right to left: FIFA president Sepp Blatter, former CBC host Evan Solomon, Leader of the Senate Liberals, James Cowan. (REUTERS/Michael Buholzer; CBC; The Canadian Press/Fred Chartrand)

Senate Liberal Leader James Cowan announced this week that he has paid back $10,000 in contested travel expenses. He's just one of 30 current and former Senators flagged by the Auditor General in his report on Senate expenses. Meanwhile, a Toronto Star report on Monday revealed that former CBC host Evan Solomon had allegedly been involved in lucrative art deals with powerful people he also dealt with as a journalist. He was fired on Tuesday, with CBC saying some of his activities were inconsistent with the organization's policies. And FIFA is still reeling from its massive bribery scandal. All of this begs the question: why do powerful people take such huge risks when they have so much to lose? Celia Moore is a Canadian assistant professor of organizational behaviour at London Business School, and the co-author of the study "The Cheater's High: The Unexpected Affective Benefits of Unethical Behavior".

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