Virtuous people are believed to have happier lives, but a new research has revealed that it depends on where you come from.
In countries where antisocial punishment is common and where people commonly justify dishonest behavior, virtuous individuals (measured, for example, by how comfortable people are avoiding a fare on public transport or cheating on their taxes) are not as satisfied with life compared to more selfish individuals.
The study, which involved surveys of more than 100,000 individuals, looked at antisocial punishment in 13 countries and dishonest behavior in 73 countries.
For example, in Denmark and the United States, virtuous individuals are happier than their less virtuous counterparts, while in Greece, and Russia, they are less happy than their more malicious fellow citizens.
The finding was published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, online April 23, 2013 - in print, July 2013.