People who have experienced foreign travel are more prone to cross the line between moral and immoral behavior. A new research finds that oversea trips make people more open to alternative morals rather than stick with their values. Another research from the same group also points out the upside of travel such as increased creativity and more flexible adaptation of another culture.
The paper by Jackson Lu et al, published recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology navigated the effects of foreign experiences on moral behavior and its explanations. The study suggests that the quantity of traveling aborad matters more than the quality. This means that people who visit more countries are more likely to get involved in immoral acts than people who visit fewer countries.
This also means that the amount of time you spend on foreign travel does not significantly affect moral behavior. In the study, 600 participants in Montreal were asked questions online about the number of different countries they had visited as well as the length of their stay. Later, trivia questions were given to the participants, The Guardian says.
To create the chance for the participants to behave questionably, they were told that there was a glitch in the computer system, and that the correct answers would appear right after the questions unless they pressed the space bar immediately. This gives them the opportunity to cheat by not pressing the space bar.
The study analyzed the number of countries people visited and the amount of cheating. Results show that people who have visited more countries also cheated more. The amount of time they spent in those countries did not impact their moral behavior, the Psychology Today reports.
The researchers explain that this happens likely because the more we are immersed in foreign cultures, the more we see morality as relative rather than absolute. Although it's a concerning finding, the study also discovered an upside on visiting other countries. It turns out that foreign travel can also enhance mood , increase creativity, and lessen prejudice.