Separating Will from Grace: An Experiment on Conformity and Awareness in Cheating
AbstractIn this paper we investigate if people cheat more when they observe their peers cheating because they conform or because they become aware that cheating is something to actively consider. In our experiment subjects toss a coin in private and report the outcome (white or black). We reward only those who report white and leave them the possibility to cheat without being discovered. In our 2x2 experimental design, we manipulated subjects’ report sheet to i) suggest (or not) that cheating is an option; ii) suggest that their peers were honest (or dishonest). We find that increasing awareness of cheating as an option significantly increases the probability that women cheat; whereas men – who are already aware that cheating is an option - are not affected. When we suggest that peers have cheated, men cheat significantly more, whereas women do not.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics in its series IFRO Working Paper with number 2012/15.
Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
cheating; norms; conformity; awareness; gender differences;
Other versions of this item:
- Fosgaard, Toke Reinholt & Hansen, Lars Gaarn & Piovesan, Marco, 2013. "Separating Will from Grace: An experiment on conformity and awareness in cheating," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 279-284.
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-01-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2013-01-07 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2013-01-07 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2013-01-07 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2013-01-07 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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