Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Why do people tell the truth? Experimental evidence for pure lie aversion

Contents:

Author Info

  • Raúl López-Pérez

    ()

  • Eli Spiegelman

    ()

Abstract

A recent experimental literature shows that truth-telling is not always motivated by pecuniary motives, and several alternative motivations have been proposed. However, their relative importance in any given context is still not totally clear. This paper investigates the relevance of pure lie aversion, that is, a dislike for lies independent of their consequences. We propose a very simple design where other motives considered in the literature predict zero truth-telling, whereas pure lie aversion predicts a non-zero rate. Thus we interpret the finding that more than a third of the subjects tell the truth as evidence for pure lie aversion. Our design also prevents confounds with another motivation (a desire to act as others expect us to act) not frequently considered but consistent with much existing evidence. We also observe that subjects who tell the truth are more likely to believe that others will tell the truth as well. Copyright Economic Science Association 2013

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10683-012-9324-x
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 233-247

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:16:y:2013:i:3:p:233-247

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102888

Related research

Keywords: Communication; Honesty; Guilt aversion; Lie aversion; Norms; C70; C91; D03; D64;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Navin Kartik, 2008. "Strategic Communication with Lying Costs," 2008 Meeting Papers 350, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Ronald Peeters & Marc Vorsatz & Markus Walzl, 2011. "Truth, trust, and sanctions: On institutional selection in sender-receiver games," Working Papers 2011-28, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  3. López-Pérez, Raúl & Spiegelman, Eli, 2012. "Do Economists Lie More?," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2012/04, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
  4. Urs Fischbacher & Franziska Heusi, 2008. "Lies in Disguise. An experimental study on cheating," TWI Research Paper Series 40, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  5. Bruno S. Frey & Iris Bohnet, 1999. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 335-339, March.
  6. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2005. "Dynamic Psychological Games," Working Papers 287, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  7. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2007. "Guilt in Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 170-176, May.
  8. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "Measuring Beliefs in an Experimental Lost Wallet Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 163-182, February.
  9. Christoph Vanberg, 2008. "Why Do People Keep Their Promises? An Experimental Test of Two Explanations -super-1," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1467-1480, November.
  10. Santiago Sánchez-Pagés & Marc Vorsatz, 2009. "Enjoy the silence: an experiment on truth-telling," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 220-241, June.
  11. 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.
  12. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  13. López-Pérez, Raúl & Vorsatz, Marc, 2009. "On Approval and Disapproval: Theory and Experiments," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2009/08, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
  14. Matthias Sutter, 2009. "Deception Through Telling the Truth?! Experimental Evidence From Individuals and Teams," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 47-60, 01.
  15. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2011. "The strategy versus the direct-response method: a first survey of experimental comparisons," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 375-398, September.
  16. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Promises, Threats and Fairness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 397-420, 04.
  17. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
  18. Buchan, Nancy R. & Johnson, Eric J. & Croson, Rachel T.A., 2006. "Let's get personal: An international examination of the influence of communication, culture and social distance on other regarding preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 373-398, July.
  19. Zak, Paul J., 2011. "Moral markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 212-233, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Simon Gächter, 2014. "Human Pro-Social Motivation and the Maintenance of Social Order," Discussion Papers 2014-02, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  2. R. Kline & F. Galeotti & R. Orsini, 2014. "When Foul Play Seems Fair: Dishonesty as a Response to Violations of Just Deserts," Working Papers wp920, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  3. Ronald Peeters & Marc Vorsatz & Markus Walzl, 2012. "Beliefs and truth-telling: A laboratory experiment," Working Papers 2012-17, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  4. Simon Gaechter, 2014. "Human Pro-Social Motivation and the Maintenance of Social Order," CESifo Working Paper Series 4729, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Cappelen, Alexander W. & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2012. "When do we lie?," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 17/2012, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics.
  6. Valeria Maggian & Marie Claire Villeval, 2013. "Social preferences and lying aversion in children," Working Papers 1337, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  7. López-Pérez, Raúl & Spiegelman, Eli, 2012. "Do Economists Lie More?," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2012/04, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:16:y:2013:i:3:p:233-247. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.