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Why Do We Lie? A Practical Guide To The Dishonesty Literature

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  • Catrine Jacobsen
  • Toke Reinholt Fosgaard
  • David Pascual†Ezama

Abstract

Over the last decade, a massive body of research has been devoted to uncovering human dishonesty. In the present paper, we review more than a hundred papers from this literature and provide a comprehensive overview by first listing the existing theoretical frameworks, and then covering the common empirical approaches, synthesizing the demographic and personal characteristics of those who cheat, identifying the behavioural mechanisms found that affect dishonesty and finally we finish by discussing how the empirical evidence fit theory. Overall, the review concludes that many people behave dishonestly, but also that it is a highly malleable behavior sensitive to elements such as decision contexts, behaviour of others, state of mind and depletion. The review can be used as an overview of the dishonesty literature or as a guide or work of reference for selected topics of interest.

Suggested Citation

  • Catrine Jacobsen & Toke Reinholt Fosgaard & David Pascual†Ezama, 2018. "Why Do We Lie? A Practical Guide To The Dishonesty Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 357-387, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:32:y:2018:i:2:p:357-387
    DOI: 10.1111/joes.12204
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    References listed on IDEAS

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