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When do we lie?

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

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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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268113000826
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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
DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2013.03.037
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  11. Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2007. "Enjoy the Silence: An Experiment on Truth-Telling," ESE Discussion Papers 155, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  12. Sugato Chakravarty & Yongjin Ma & Sandra Maximiano, 2011. "Lying and Friendship," Working Papers 1008, Purdue University, Department of Consumer Sciences, revised Mar 2011.
  13. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2012. "Deception: The Role of Guilt," Working Papers 457, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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  17. Lightle, John P., 2013. "Harmful lie aversion and lie discovery in noisy expert advice games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 347-362.
  18. Erat, Sanjiv, 2013. "Avoiding lying: The case of delegated deception," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 273-278.
  19. 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.
  20. Dreber, Anna & Johannesson, Magnus, 2008. "Gender differences in deception," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 197-199, April.
  21. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2003. "Promises & Partnership," Research Papers in Economics 2003:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  22. Sugato Chakravarty & Pankaj Jain & James Upson & Robert Wood, 2011. "Clean Sweep: Informed Trading through Intermarket Sweep Orders," Working Papers 1007, Purdue University, Department of Consumer Sciences.
  23. 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.
  24. Angelova, Vera & Regner, Tobias, 2013. "Do voluntary payments to advisors improve the quality of financial advice? An experimental deception game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 205-218.
  25. Friesen, Lana & Gangadharan, Lata, 2012. "Individual level evidence of dishonesty and the gender effect," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 624-626.
  26. Childs, Jason, 2012. "Gender differences in lying," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 147-149.
  27. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
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