IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Justified ethicality: Observing desired counterfactuals modifies ethical perceptions and behavior

  • Shalvi, Shaul
  • Dana, Jason
  • Handgraaf, Michel J.J.
  • De Dreu, Carsten K.W.
Registered author(s):

    Employing a die-under-cup paradigm, we study the extent to which people lie when it is transparently clear they cannot be caught. We asked participants to report the outcome of a private die roll and gain money according to their reports. Results suggest that the degree of lying depends on the extent to which self-justifications are available. Specifically, when people are allowed to roll the die three times to ensure its legitimacy, but only the first roll is supposed to "count," we find evidence that the highest outcome of the three rolls is reported. Eliminating the ability to observe more than one roll reduces lying. Additional results suggest that observing desired counterfactuals, in the form of additional rolls not meant to determine pay, attenuates the degree to which people perceive lies as unethical. People seem to derive value from self-justifications allowing them to lie for money while feeling honest.

    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://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749597811000240
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    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.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    Volume (Year): 115 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July)
    Pages: 181-190

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:115:y:2011:i:2:p:181-190
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp

    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. Zeelenberg, M. & van Dijk, W.W. & van der Pligt, J. & Manstead, A.S.R. & van Empelen, P. & Reinderman, D., 1998. "Emotional reactions to the outcomes of decision : The role of counterfactual thought in the experience of regret," Other publications TiSEM eafc28f9-18d6-4b76-b70f-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    2. Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Reference points, anchors, norms, and mixed feelings," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 296-312, March.
    3. Ritov, Ilana & Baron, Jonathan, 1995. "Outcome Knowledge, Regret, and Omission Bias," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 119-127, November.
    4. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Zeelenberg, Marcel & van Dijk, Wilco W. & van der Pligt, Joop & Manstead, Antony S. R. & van Empelen, Pepijn & Reinderman, Dimitri, 1998. "Emotional Reactions to the Outcomes of Decisions: The Role of Counterfactual Thought in the Experience of Regret and Disappointment," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 117-141, August.
    6. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
    7. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
    8. Hsee, Christopher K., 1995. "Elastic Justification: How Tempting but Task-Irrelevant Factors Influence Decisions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 330-337, June.
    9. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
    10. Zeelenberg, M. & van Dijk, W.W. & van der Pligt, J. & Manstead, A.S.R. & van Empelen, P. & Reinderman, D., 1998. "Emotional reactions to the outcomes of decisions : The role of counterfactual thought in the experience of regret and disappointment," Discussion Paper 1998-35, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    11. Schweitzer, Maurice E & Hsee, Christopher K, 2002. " Stretching the Truth: Elastic Justification and Motivated Communication of Uncertain Information," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 185-201, September.
    12. Kagel, John H. & Kim, Chung & Moser, Donald, 1996. "Fairness in Ultimatum Games with Asymmetric Information and Asymmetric Payoffs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 100-110, March.
    13. Ritov, Ilana, 1996. "Anchoring in Simulated Competitive Market Negotiation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 16-25, July.
    14. Hsee, Christopher K., 1996. "Elastic Justification: How Unjustifiable Factors Influence Judgments," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 122-129, April.
    15. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:115:y:2011:i:2:p:181-190. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.