Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

An expansive physical setting increases a person's likelihood of dishonest behavior

Date:
June 24, 2013
Source:
Columbia Business School
Summary:
A new study reveals that expansive physical settings can cause individuals to feel more powerful, and in turn these feelings of power can elicit more dishonest behavior such as stealing, cheating, and even traffic violations.

The study states that while individuals may pay very little attention to ordinary and seemingly innocuous shifts in bodily posture, these subtle postural shifts can have tremendous impact on our thoughts, feelings and behavior.
Credit: Image courtesy of Columbia Business School

A new study from researchers at leading business schools reveals that expansive physical settings (e.g. having a big desk to stretch out while doing work or a large driver's seat in an automobile) can cause individuals to feel more powerful, and in turn these feelings of power can elicit more dishonest behavior such as stealing, cheating, and even traffic violations.

Related Articles


"In everyday working and living environments, our body postures are incidentally expanded and contracted by our surroundings -- by the seats in our cars, the furniture in and around workspaces, even the hallways in our offices -- and these environments directly influence the propensity of dishonest behavior in our everyday lives," said Andy Yap, a key author of the research who spearheaded its development during his time at Columbia Business School.

The study states that while individuals may pay very little attention to ordinary and seemingly innocuous shifts in bodily posture, these subtle postural shifts can have tremendous impact on our thoughts, feelings and behavior. Building on previous research that expansive postures can lead to a state of power, and power can lead to dishonest behavior, the study found that expanded, nonverbal postures forced upon individuals by their environments could influence decisions and behaviors in ways that render people less honest. "This is a real concern. Our research shows that office managers should pay attention to the ergonomics of their workspaces. The results suggest that these physical spaces have tangible and real-world impact on our behaviors" said Andy Yap.

The research includes findings from four studies conducted in the field and the laboratory. One study manipulated the expansiveness of workspaces in the lab and tested whether "incidentally" expanded bodies (shaped organically by one's environment) led to more dishonesty on a test. Another experiment examined if participants in a more expansive driver's seat would be more likely to "hit and run" when incentivized to go fast in a video-game driving simulation.

To extend results to a real-world context, an observational field study tested the ecological validity of the effect by examining whether automobile drivers' seat size predicted the violation of parking laws in New York City. The field study revealed that automobiles with more expansive driver's seats were more likely to be illegally parked on New York City streets.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia Business School. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Columbia Business School. "An expansive physical setting increases a person's likelihood of dishonest behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130624133145.htm>.
Columbia Business School. (2013, June 24). An expansive physical setting increases a person's likelihood of dishonest behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130624133145.htm
Columbia Business School. "An expansive physical setting increases a person's likelihood of dishonest behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130624133145.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins