The Labor of Lies: How Lying for Material Rewards Polarizes Consumers’ Outcome Satisfaction
Consumers often find themselves in situations in which they are tempted to lie in order to obtain otherwise unattainable material rewards or financial benefits (e.g., when refunding or exchanging a product, qualifying for discounts and promotions, negotiating with a salesperson, etc.). This research examines how lying during an interaction with a service provider influences the consumer’s outcome satisfaction. Six studies demonstrate that because lying interferes with the ability to use diagnostic cues to update outcome expectations, liars are less prepared for the final outcome. This reduced outcome preparedness, in turn, leads to more polarized satisfaction judgments. These findings suggest that lying may not only have financial ramifications but that there are evaluative consequences as well.
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