“Greater creativity helps individuals solve difficult tasks across many domains, but creative sparks may lead individuals to take unethical routes when searching for solutions to problems and tasks,” study researcher Francesca Gino of Harvard University said in a statement.
Although the researchers found a link between creativity and dishonesty, they did not find a link between intelligence and dishonesty. For example, their experiments showed that intelligent-but-less-creative people were no more inclined toward dishonesty than less-intelligent and less-creative participants. [Hypocrisy Rooted in High Morals]
The study suggests that, “being able to generate several original justifications for one’s own unethical actions thanks to creativity may lead people to feel licensed to cheat,” the researchers write in a recent issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.