Josephson Institute released their 2008 Ethics survey and found that:
More than one in four (26 percent) confessed they lied on at least one or two questions on the survey. Experts agree that dishonesty on surveys usually is an attempt to conceal misconduct.
Despite these high levels of dishonesty, the respondents have a high self-image when it comes to ethics. A whopping 93 percent said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character and 77 percent said that when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know.
They’re a little deluded, by the way.
The study also found that cheating continues throughout a lifetime. It doesn’t mean that someone who cheated once will cheat again, but it indicates a trend toward that.
The study also found that, regardless of how old they are now, people who cheated in high school were three times more likely to lie to a customer (20% vs. 6%) or inflate an insurance claim (6% vs. 2%) and more than twice as likely to inflate an expense claim (10% vs. 4%) than people who never cheated in high school. The high school cheaters were also twice as likely to lie to or deceive their boss (20% vs. 10%) or lie about their address to get a child into a better school (29% vs. 15%) and one-and-a-half times more likely to lie to spouse or significant other (35% vs. 22%) or cheat on taxes (18% vs. 13%).
via Joanne Jacobs