IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hbs/wpaper/11-064.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Dark Side of Creativity: Original Thinkers Can be More Dishonest

Author

Listed:
  • Francesca Gino

    () (Harvard Business School, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit)

  • Dan Ariely

    () (Fuqua School of Business, Duke University)

Abstract

Creativity is a common aspiration for individuals, organizations, and societies. Here, however, we test whether creativity increases dishonesty. We propose that a creative personality and creativity primes promote individuals' motivation to think outside the box and that this increased motivation leads to unethical behavior. In four studies, we show that participants with creative personalities who scored high on a test measuring divergent thinking tended to cheat more (Study 1); that dispositional creativity is a better predictor of unethical behavior than intelligence (Study 2); and that participants who were primed to think creatively were more likely to behave dishonestly because of their creativity motivation (Study 3) and greater ability to justify their dishonest behavior (Study 4). Finally, a field study constructively replicates these effects and demonstrates that individuals who work in more creative positions are also more morally flexible (Study 5). The results provide evidence for an association between creativity and dishonesty, thus highlighting a dark side of creativity.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesca Gino & Dan Ariely, 2011. "The Dark Side of Creativity: Original Thinkers Can be More Dishonest," Harvard Business School Working Papers 11-064, Harvard Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:11-064
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.hbs.edu/research/pdf/11-064.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Raminta Pučėtaitė & Aurelija Novelskaitė & Anna-Maija Lämsä & Elina Riivari, 2016. "The Relationship Between Ethical Organisational Culture and Organisational Innovativeness: Comparison of Findings from Finland and Lithuania," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 139(4), pages 685-700, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    creativity; creative thinking; dishonesty; intelligence; unethical behavior;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:11-064. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Soebagio Notosoehardjo). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/harbsus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.