The 7 Deadly Sins are Actually Good for You

The virtues of living a sinful life

Turns out there are virtues to living a sinful life. University of Melbourne social psychologist Dr. Simon Laham uses modern research to make a compelling case for the virtues of sin in his latest book The Joy of Sin: The Psychology of the Seven Deadlies (And Why They Are So Good For You).

Dr. Laham argues that human behavior is more complex than “good” or “evil.” He shares how the seven deadly sins are, if indulged wisely, largely functional human tendencies.


Can make you smarter. Research shows that people with sex on the brain are better at solving ‘analytic thinking’ problems. Lust triggers us to become focused on the present and satisfying a pressing current goal (sex).

Lust also builds love. Research shows that lustful participants are more likely to display a range of loving, relationship maintenance behaviours—like constructive conflict resolution strategies—to increase the chances of sex in the future.


People who have eaten a piece of cake are more likely to donate to charity.


Money can buy you happiness as long as you spend it the right way. Studies show that people are happier when they spend their money on experiences rather than material possessions.


The ultimate slothful state, sleep and even napping, improves your memory and makes you more insightful. Research has also shown that slowing down makes you more helpful: in cities in which people walk more slowly, such as Bakersfield, California, pedestrians are more likely to stop and offer help.


Anger triggers an oppositional mindset which makes people more willing to entertain beliefs contrary to their own. In addition, angry negotiators tend to be more likely to get what they want in a negotiation.


Comparing yourself to those better off than you can lead to boosts in mood, self-image, and creativity. (as opposed to comparison that steals your joy, as we talk about this video)


Proud people persist longer at difficult tasks and adopt leadership roles. Studies also show that the proud are more liked.


Image: Attribution Some rights reserved by Aimanness Photography

Category: Body


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