Luck or cheating? A field experiment on honesty with children
We run an experiment to study the relationship between honesty, age and self-control. We focus on children aged between 5 and 15 as the literature suggests that self-control develops within such age range. We ask each child to toss a fair coin in private and to record the outcome (white or black) on a paper sheet. We only reward children who report white. Although we are unable to tell whether each child was honest or not, we speculate about the proportion of reported white outcomes. Children report the prize-winning outcome at rates statistically above 50% but below 100%. Moreover, the probability of cheating is uniform across groups based on child's characteristics, in particular age. In a second treatment we explicitly tell children not to cheat. This request has a dampening effect on their tendency to over-report the prize-winning outcome, especially in girls. Furthermore, while this effect in boys is constant with age, in girls it tends to decrease with age.
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.
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.
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.:
- Steven D. Levitt, 2006. "White-Collar Crime Writ Small: A Case Study of Bagels, Donuts, and the Honor System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 290-294, May.
- Nina Mazar & Dan Ariely, 2006. "Dishonesty in everyday life and its policy implications," Working Papers 06-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- William T. Harbaugh & Kate Krause & Timothy R. Berry, 2001. "GARP for Kids: On the Development of Rational Choice Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1539-1545, December.
- Frank, Robert H, 1987. "If Homo Economicus Could Choose His Own Utility Function, Would He Want One with a Conscience?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 593-604, September.
- Harbaugh, William T. & Krause, Kate & Vesterlund, Lise, 2007.
"Learning to bargain,"
Journal of Economic Psychology,
Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 127-142, January.
- William T. Harbaugh & Kate Krause & Lise Vesterlund, 2003. "Learning to Bargain," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2004-9, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Nov 2003.
- Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
- Wenzel, Michael, 2005. "Misperceptions of social norms about tax compliance: From theory to intervention," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 862-883, December.
- Sutter, Matthias, 2007.
"Outcomes versus intentions: On the nature of fair behavior and its development with age,"
Journal of Economic Psychology,
Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 69-78, January.
- Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Outcomes versus intentions. on the nature of fair behavior and its development with age," Artefactual Field Experiments 00109, The Field Experiments Website.
- Gerald J. Pruckner & Rupert Sausgruber, 2008.
"Honesty on the Streets - A Natural Field Experiment on Newspaper Purchasing,"
2009-24, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
- Gerald J. Pruckner & Rupert Sausgruber, 2009. "Honesty on the Streets: A Natural Field Experiment on Newspaper Purchasing," NRN working papers 2009-24, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:32:y:2011:i:1:p:73-78. 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 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.