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Cheating with a friend can be a good thing

8/24 10:10:56

Partners in crime

Most of us feel guilty about cheating on our diets, but a new study has shown that doing it with a friend is actually a good thing.

In this study, participants were grouped in pairs and secretly filmed. They were monitored on how they consumed a bowl of candy between them.

Study findings: Bonding and friendship

The participants who ate only a few candies reported liking their partner more by the end of the study, and partners who ate too much candy both said that they liked their partner less.

The results show that matched decisions result in affiliation, depending on how serious the consequences were perceived to be.

When the stakes were high, people bonded through moral support. When the consequences were a little less severe, people improved their friendship through partnering in crime.

Small indulgences and accountability

The findings provide insight into why we surround ourselves with people who help bring out the best in us, but don't make us feel terrible when we stray from perfection.

This is proof that we can rely on others for accountability in trying to achieve important goals. We can also enhance our well-being through managing guilt and being able to enjoy small indulgences in the company of friends.

Recommended reading: Do you have a toxic friendship?

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