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Study: Narcissists more likely to cheat

Newark, Ohio -- College students who exhibit narcissistic tendencies are more likely than other students to cheat on exams and assignments, a study by U.S. researchers shows.

Research at Ohio State University's Newark campus suggested narcissists are motivated to cheat because their academic performance provides an opportunity to show off, and that they didn't feel particularly guilty about their actions, a university release said Tuesday.

"Narcissists really want to be admired by others, and you look good in college if you're getting good grades," Amy Brunell, assistant professor of psychology, says. "They also tend to feel less guilt, so they don't mind cheating their way to the top."

Narcissists are self-centered, exaggerate their talents and abilities, and lack empathy for others, Brunell says.

"Narcissists feel the need to maintain a positive self-image and they will sometimes set aside ethical concerns to get what they want," she says.

The study results correspond well with studies that have looked at narcissism in the workplace, Brunell says.

"It seems likely that the same people causing problems in the workplace and engaging in white collar crime are the ones who were cheating in the classroom."

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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