Justified ethicality: Observing desired counterfactuals modifies ethical perceptions and behavior
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.
Volume (Year): 115 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
|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.:
- 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.
- Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Tobias Lundquist & Tore Ellingsen & Erik Gribbe & Magnus Johannesson, 2009.
"The Aversion to Lying,"
- 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.
- Ritov, Ilana, 1996. "Anchoring in Simulated Competitive Market Negotiation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 16-25, July.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Reference points, anchors, norms, and mixed feelings," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 296-312, March.
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: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.