The Mind Game: Invisible Cheating and Inferable Intentions
AbstractThis paper exploits a novel cheating game - the “Mind Game” - to show how a subtle variation in the rules of the game affects cheating. In both variants of the game, cheating is invisible because subjects make their choices purely in their minds. The only difference rests on the order of the steps in which subjects should play the game. I find that subjects cheat significantly less when they have to disregard the prescribed order of steps in order to cheat, compare to when they can purely lie about the choice made in the mind. Since subjects play the game in private with a double-blind payment procedure, I conjecture that subjects only cheat to the extent that their moral self-image is still preserved. But the moral image can be preserved if they can deceive themselves into believing that at least their intentions are good, and not if cheating requires an act that reveals the intent to cheat. This study thus suggests a potential role of intent inference in deterring cheating.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven in its series LICOS Discussion Papers with number 30912.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: De Bériotstraat 34, B-3000 Leuven
Phone: +32 (0) 16 / 32 6598
Fax: +32 (0) 16 / 32 6599
Web page: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/licos
More information through EDIRC
cheating; intent; self-deception; moral self-image; the mind game;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
You can help add them by filling out this form.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.