IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Truth or Consequences: An Experiment

  • Jordi Brandts


    (Instituto de Análisis Económico, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Barcelona, Spain)

  • Gary Charness


    (University of California, Santa Barbara, California 94720)

This paper presents evidence that the willingness to punish an unfair action is sensitive to whether this action was preceded by a deceptive message. One player first sends a message indicating an intended play, which is either favorable or unfavorable to the other player in the game. After the message, the sender and the receiver play a simultaneous 2\times 2 game, in which the sender may or may not play according to his message. Outcome cells may, hence, be reached following true or false messages. In the third stage, the receiver may (at a cost) punish or reward, depending on which cell of the simultaneous game has been reached. We test whether receivers' rates of monetary sacrifice depend on the process by which an outcome is reached. We study two decision-elicitation methods: the strategy and the direct response methods. For each method, deception more than doubles the punishment rate as a response to an action that is unfavorable to the receiver. We also find evidence that 17--25% of all participants choose to reward a favorable action choice made by the sender, even though doing so leaves one at a payoff disadvantage. Our results reflect on current economic models of utility and have implications for organizational decision-making behavior.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 49 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 116-130

in new window

Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:49:y:2003:i:1:p:116-130
Contact details of provider: Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA
Phone: +1-443-757-3500
Fax: 443-757-3515
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

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:inm:ormnsc:v:49:y:2003:i:1:p:116-130. 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: (Mirko Janc)

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.