It may seem like common sense to many of us, but new research is empirically proving that people who are in touch with their intuition behave better and are less likely to cheat. The study, conducted by doctoral student Sarah Ward at the University of Missouri, shows that trusting intuition can make you a better person. Ward showed that people who rely on their intuition are more likely to feel guilt over participating in an immoral act, and that those feelings of guilt translate into better behavior in the present.
For one of the experiments, Ward quizzed volunteers to determine their levels of intuitiveness, then gave each an unsolvable IQ test. Participants were asked to grade their own work with the knowledge that those scoring in the top 10% would receive a prize. Of the 100 volunteers, 23% cheated. The cheaters held the lowest scores for levels of intuitiveness. Ward told The Independent for a December 2nd article: “Our… experiment showed that people who tend to rely on their gut feelings are less likely to cheat… We feel this is because people try to compensate for past bad behavior by acting morally in the present, and this tendency…may be especially pronounced among people who rely on intuition.” This is one of the first scientific studies showing how trusting intuition affects behavior. Ward’s research was published in the scholarly journal Personality and Individual Differences.
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