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When do we lie?

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Author Info

  • Cappelen, Alexander W.
  • Sørensen, Erik Ø.
  • Tungodden, Bertil

Abstract

The paper reports from an experiment studying how the aversion to lying is affected by non-economic dimensions of the choice situation. Specifically, we study whether people are more or less likely to lie when the content of the lie is personal, when they base decisions on intuition, and when they are in a market context. We also study how aversion to lying depends on personal characteristics, including age, gender, cognitive ability, personality and social preferences. Our main finding is that non-economic aspects of the choice situation are crucial in understanding aversion to lying. In particular, we find that people are less likely to lie when the content of the message is personal. We also find large effects from priming the participants to rely on intuition, but, interestingly, in this case the effect only applies to males. Finally, we find that people who are highly motivated by social preferences are more averse to lying, but there is no significant relationship between lying behavior and other personal characteristics.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 93 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 258-265

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:93:y:2013:i:c:p:258-265

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

Related research

Keywords: Deception; Lies; Priming;

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References

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  1. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  2. Friesen, Lana & Gangadharan, Lata, 2012. "Individual level evidence of dishonesty and the gender effect," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 624-626.
  3. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
  4. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "Promises and Partnership," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000001, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Santiago Sanchez-Pages & Marc Vorsatz, 2007. "Enjoy the Silence: An Experiment on Truth-Telling," ESE Discussion Papers 155, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  6. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  7. Chakravarty, Sugato & Jain, Pankaj & Upson, James & Wood, Robert, 2012. "Clean Sweep: Informed Trading through Intermarket Sweep Orders," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(02), pages 415-435, April.
  8. Dreber, Anna & Johannesson, Magnus, 2008. "Gender differences in deception," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 197-199, April.
  9. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2010. "Bare promises: An experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 281-283, May.
  10. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
  11. Raúl López-Pérez & Eli Spiegelman, 2013. "Why do people tell the truth? Experimental evidence for pure lie aversion," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 233-247, September.
  12. Omar Al-Ubaydli & Daniel Houser & John V.C. Nye & Maria Pia Paganelli & Xiaofei (Sophia) Pan, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Market Participation on Trust: An Experimental Investigation Using Randomized Control," Working Papers 1027, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
  13. Childs, Jason, 2012. "Gender differences in lying," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 147-149.
  14. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2003. "Truth or Consequences: An Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(1), pages 116-130, January.
  15. Lundquist, Tobias & Ellingsen, Tore & Gribbe, Erik & Johannesson, Magnus, 2009. "The aversion to lying," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 81-92, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Björn Bartling & Roberto A. Weber, 2013. "Do markets erode social responsibility?," UBSCENTER - Working Papers 006, UBS International Center of Economics in Society - Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Gravert, Christina, 2013. "How luck and performance affect stealing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 301-304.
  3. Ploner, Matteo & Regner, Tobias, 2013. "Self-image and moral balancing: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 374-383.
  4. Reuben, Ernesto & Stephenson, Matt, 2013. "Nobody likes a rat: On the willingness to report lies and the consequences thereof," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 384-391.
  5. Gneezy, Uri & Rockenbach, Bettina & Serra-Garcia, Marta, 2013. "Measuring lying aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 293-300.
  6. Sakamoto, Kayo & Laine, Tei & Farber, Ilya, 2013. "Deciding whether to deceive: Determinants of the choice between deceptive and honest communication," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 392-399.
  7. Shalvi, Shaul & Leiser, David, 2013. "Moral firmness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 400-407.

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