Number crunchers likelier to commit social, moral transgressions

A new research has revealed that numbers-focused calculations, especially those involving money, may lead to unethical choices, including social and moral transgressions.

ANI| Updated: Sep 16, 2014, 13:12 PM IST

Washington: A new research has revealed that numbers-focused calculations, especially those involving money, may lead to unethical choices, including social and moral transgressions.

Based on several experiments, researchers at University of Toronto concluded that people in a "calculative mindset" as a result of number-crunching are likelier to analyze non-numerical problems mathematically and not take into account social, moral or interpersonal factors.

Co-author Chen-Bo Zhong said that performing calculations, whether related to money or not, seemed to encourage people to engage in unethical behaviours to better themselves.

The results may provide further insight into why economics students have shown more self-interested behaviour in previous studies examining whether business or economics education contributes to unethical corporate activity, the researchers wrote.

The study is published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.