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Time, Money And Morality; How It Helps In The Real World

1048 words - 5 pages

Imagine a happy, ethical world without cheating, lies and deceit. Though seemingly impossible, Gino and Mogilner (2014) may have stumbled across a way to guide humans toward being more ethical, generous people, thus becoming just a little step closer to an honest world. The three constructs of time, money and happiness are all crucial aspects of daily life, and each day it seems most are striving to achieve more of these three things. Much research has been conducted on links between money and happiness, but Gino and Mogilner (2014) are among the first to examine time, money, and self-reflection, which they discovered can help people follow their moral compass. Gino and Mogilner’s (2014) ...view middle of the document...

Because of this, when participants primed with time when faced with an opportunity to cheat, they were less likely to behave unethically and take it. This is an interesting concept, and can be easily applied to real life scenarios and emotions, which makes their research immensely useful. For example, Vianello, Galliani and Haidt (2000), discovered that the feeling they called ‘Elevation’ (a way a kind of happiness), comes from behaving in kind, moral and ethical ways. Similarly, Aknin, Dunn and Norton (2008), found that spending money on others rather than oneself leads to greater levels of happiness. Therefore, the conclusion is formed that being ethical and generous boosts happiness; which some would argue is key to life and good health (Argyle, 1997). Placing mirrors down every street may be a little over the top, but finding subtle ways to make people more self-aware in everyday life could help create a more ethical, happy world.
However, the level of applicability to real life can be questioned in these types of lab experiments. Research has found that there can be considerable differences in the behaviour of subjects between laboratory and field experiments (Dipboye and Flanagan, 1979; Orne, 1962). Diener and Wallbom (1976) conducted an experiment on self-awareness and cheating similar to Gino and Mogilner (2014); would the results be the same if a self-awareness, time and money primes were subtly manipulated in a field environment? These laboratory experiments may lack ecological and external validity; more research could be done in the way of field experiments. A ‘happy’ prime could be included to make their research even more useful to real life; also, further research could cast more light on each of these issues.
There are limits to the various ways the ‘money’ prime could be interpreted by subjects, but time is more complicated concept which can be presented and interpreted in many ways. In Gino and Mogilner’s (2014) experiment, they surreptitiously brought time/money to participants’ attention by exposing them to time or money related words. Time could have been operationally defined differently in order to be more applicable and useful to real life. For example,...

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