The Current

Technology brings 'higher danger of being dishonest,' says professor

"What technology is doing to us is not letting us think about the consequences."
The Boston Red Sox reportedly used an Apple Watch to steal signs in the teams' August series. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

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The New York Yankees vs. the Boston Red Sox — one of the most storied rivalries in the history of sport.

The longtime rivalry has been pulled into the digital age with the Red Sox being accused of cheating using cutting-edge technology in the teams' August series.

The allegations focus on stealing signs, which in itself is not illegal.

"It's just considered to be part of the game. But it's the use of the technology that is prohibited," baseball writer Jenn Smith tells The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.
The Boston Red Sox are accused of improperly using electronic devices to steal signs from their longtime rival New York Yankees. (Charles Krupa/The Associated Press)

The accusations point to a Red Sox coach using an Apple Watch in the dugout in order to relay information to players on the field.

"Major League Baseball prohibits the use of technology in the dugout. And so that's the part of this that is what makes it particularly newsworthy and makes it so that Major League Baseball might actually have to step in and give out some sort of consequence to the Red Sox," says Smith.

Using technology to cheat

It seems that as technology proliferates, so do the opportunities for cheating.

Professor Dan Ariely studies why people cheat and lie, and argues when technology is involved, there's "a higher danger of being dishonest."

What technology is doing to us — is not letting us think about the consequences.- Dan Ariely 

He says it's important to recognize that simply relying on the probability of being caught in punishment is not going to have an effect  — "It's actually incredibly sad."

"If you compared the [U.S.] states that have the death penalty with the ones that don't, there's no difference in the crime rate. So we don't think about the consequences," Ariely explains.

"And that's a lot of what technology is doing to us — is not letting us think about the consequences."

Listen to the full segment near the top of this web post.

This segment was produced by The Current's Liz Hoath, Karin Marley and Ines Colabrese.