A new study released by the Association for Psychological Science which was conducted by business professors from Harvard showed that cheating might be a good thing. It depends on what you’re doing of course, but the stigma against cheating is a terrible one.
The fact that cheating is seen in such a negative light and that it has been attached to adultery and extramarital affairs is a troubling one. It almost makes it seem like you’re breaking the rules to win a marriage which in turn dumbs down what goes on in marriages to a two dimensional plane of black and white, right and wrong. For some people, extramarital affairs are that simple. No amount of discourse will change their mind on the topic. Cheating is wrong. The rules are set in stone. Nothing changes.
What this study found, however, was that cheating could be a good thing. If you want to be more creative and to be able to think in a way that will allow you to find new solutions to your problems, cheating is helpful.
That’s right. Let me say it again.
Cheating is helpful and helps to free up your mind from its rules.
Now, there is yet to be a study that could measure how cheating on your spouse by having an extramarital affair will affect your work performance or the creativity centers of your brain. Even this study though, as remote from an extramarital affair as it may seem, is important. After all, the very idea of cheating can seem repugnant to some people.
But here is evidence that cheating has a silver lining where we didn’t think it was possible before. It stands to reason then that there are other benefits of cheating and having an extramarital affair that we have not thought about yet or that we, as a society, do not yet recognize.
Our creativity (and a good chunk of our happiness) comes from the freedom of our mind. This is freedom from rules, freedom from burdens, and if there’s a reward thrown in there (like there so often is with an extramarital affair) then that incentivizes our minds to work even better.
Some sources would even call cheating and creativity two sides of the same coin. It makes sense to us. After all, lying takes creativity to do, but perhaps these deeper looks into what we do when we are presented with the opportunity to cheat will allow us to break down the barriers that cheating is wrong. White and black, cheating is never okay.
There’s a whole spectrum of colors in between those two shades and while it might take us a while to stop making these assumptions, at the very least we’re starting to get on the right track.