Article | Psychological Science | 2014

Time, Money, and Morality

by F. Gino and C. Mogilner

Abstract

Money, a resource that absorbs much daily attention, seems to be present in much unethical behavior thereby suggesting that money itself may corrupt. This research examines a way to offset such potentially deleterious effects—by focusing on time, a resource that tends to receive less attention than money but is equally ubiquitous in our daily lives. Across four experiments, we examine whether shifting focus onto time can salvage individuals' ethicality. We found that implicitly activating the construct of time, rather than money, leads individuals to behave more ethically by cheating less. We further found that priming time reduces cheating by making people reflect on who they are. Implications for the use of time versus money primes in discouraging or promoting dishonesty are discussed.

Keywords: Money; Ethics;

Citation:

Gino, F., and C. Mogilner. "Time, Money, and Morality." Psychological Science 25, no. 2 (February 2014): 414–421.