Hypothesized that it is not emotional arousal per se which influences one to inhibit or avoid cheating, but one’s interpretation of the meaning and significance of that arousal. 105 naive undergraduates were told that this was a study of a vitamin supplement’s effects on vision, and given 1 of 2 lists of side effects associated with the placebo pill. While waiting for the visual-perception task, Ss experienced failure on a vocabulary test, supposedly predictive of college success, and received an opportunity to cheat on the test by changing answers. It was anticipated that all Ss who considered cheating would experience some arousal, but Ss told to expect drug-induced side effects related to sympathetic arousal would not label their experienced arousal as fear or guilt, and would cheat more than Ss who anticipated benign side effects. Of Ss expecting arousal side effects, 49% cheated, as compared with 27% of the control Ss (p < .025). Sex differences and implications for theoretical approaches to emotion and conscience are discussed.