In the background of suspicions that cheating in many areas of life is becoming a more and more common trend around the world, the market-research firm GfK carried out a survey on cheating throughout 16 European countries, Turkey, Russia and the USA in order to find out whether cheating in business, taxes, romance and sports is becoming more and more of a problem and where it is happening. The survey threw up mostly unsurprising results, with a few exceptions thrown in.
What we must take into account is the fact that some countries imagine cheating to be something which another country may perceive to be perfectly honest. For example, if a Turkish salesman manages to sell a garment at a hugely inflated price, the Turks would most probably clap their hands. On the other hand, the Dutch would probably look at him as a thief.
Similarly, prejudice and stereotypes most certainly play a role in peoples’ perception of their own country without having much to do with the truth. For example, Russians and Italians view almost everything as cheating and accept it as a part of their culture. Indeed, where the mafia is concerned, these are nearly always these two countries on peoples’ lips. Jealousy also plays a role, with people just presuming that those who drive expensive cars are clearly breaking the rules. The truth also points to the fact that cheating is on the rise. Germans were revealed to have stashed bundles of cash illegally into Lichtenstein and sport stars are more and more dependant on drugs.
With respect to cheating in business 10% of the survey respondents most commonly pointed finger at Italy as the country that cheats the most. Even Italians themselves (40%) proclaimed Italy as the worst country with respect to honesty in business.
Sadly, 91% of Italians said cheating on taxes is a major problem in their country. The Swedish and the Dutch turned out to be the most honest in terms of general cheating. The Russians were found to be the worst in terms of relationship cheating. 26% of Russian respondents admitted they cheated on a romantic partner.
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