A study using a 'dice in a cup game' across 23 countries has found individual people living in corrupt countries are also more likely to be dishonest.
CASE STUDY: The game that shows corruption 'corrupts'
Our morals appear to be strongly correlated to the way we see people around us behaving – for example, honesty amongst citizens can change over time as ‘social norms’ (generally accepted rules of behaviour) change.
A five year study from 23 countries linked corrupt activities occurring at a societal level, such as tax evasion and political fraud, to individuals being more willing to bend the truth.
To demonstrate this, volunteers from the U.K. to Indonesia to Guatemala to Morocco participated in a simple exercise where they had to declare what payment they were due from a game of chance.
The study found that “participants were more likely to bend the game’s rules for personal gain if they lived in more corrupt societies”.
People from more corrupt countries, like Georgia, Tanzania, and Guatemala, behaved less honestly in the die-rolling game than those from less corrupt countries like Austria, Sweden, and the Netherlands.