Are Instinctive People More Honest?

It’s not exactly “The Force” of Star Wars fame, but it seems that you have a power for good within you.

It’s your gut.

New research, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, suggests that people who follow their gut feelings might be less likely to act immorally.

Acting on instinct has seen relatively little study, due to its nebulous nature and the difficulty of pinning down "gut feelings" in an experimental setting. In this experiment, more than 100 participants completed surveys designed to reveal how often they might act on their intuition.

Participants then read a story about a fictional office-based situation where they made a mistake and blamed a co-worker. Previous research has shown that when people believe they have acted immorally, the sensation of guilt can induce a desire to physically clean themselves.

Shortly after reading the story, study participants were asked how much they would be willing to pay for hand cleaning soap. Those who were more likely to follow their gut instincts were also more inclined to pay a higher price for hand cleanser.

Next, the group took part in an IQ test. They were informed that the top 10 percent would win a lottery ticket. They did not know the IQ test was phony and impossible. The answers to the test were placed face down next to them, and they were instructed to mark their own papers.

Overall, 23 percent of the participants cheated. But those known to be more likely to follow their gut instincts were less likely to be among them.

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Sourced from: Medical News Today, People who follow their instincts might be more trustworthy