Are humans hardwired to cheat? That was the question journalist Maddie Bender explored in her article, published in The Daily Beast, Humans are Hardwired to Cheat. Here’s How We Stop Ourselves.

Writing that cheating scandals seem to be a growing problem, from fishing to chess, and even Fat Bear Week, Bender wanted to get to the bottom of what drives people to break the rules. Freedom Center Director and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Economy and Moral Science in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Mary L. Rigdon was tapped for her expertise on how competition impacts human behavior.

“We have this idea that competition should naturally lead to better athletes and more exciting and entertaining sporting activities,” Rigdon said. “But we started to ask the question: Is there a possibility that competition can actually generate unethical behavior?”

The article notes studies suggesting that extrinsically motivated people are more prone to cheating while people who are intrinsically motivated are less prone to bending the rules. Rigdon said the kinds of competitions might also contribute to the likelihood of cheating and are worth additional study. And as for how to prevent cheating in the future, Rigdon believes that more study is needed because of conflicting research on the effectiveness of deterrents like “watching eyes.”

An ultra-competitive athlete, Rigdon believes that while there may be pressure to cheat, nothing compares to the satisfaction of working hard, playing hard, and winning fairly.

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty