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"I Can't Lie to Your Face": Minimal Face-to-Face Interaction Promotes Honestry


  • Van Zant, Alex B.
  • Kray, Laura J.


In the current research, we consider how gender composition may impact the likelihood of deception in contexts with asymmetric information where one party has the opportunity to strategically deceive another party for the opportunity to gain economically. We predict that the combined processes of social categorization and social projection should make people more likely to presume trust from same-gender others than different-gender others. Because anonymous interactions promote the tendency to construe situations instrumentally, we hypothesize that people will take advantage of presumed trust from same-gender others by being more likely to deceive them than different-gender others under conditions of anonymity. Finally,we argue that when rationalizing their deceptive behavior, liars should be more likely to attribute mistrust to same-gender others than different-gender others. We turn to the Cheap Talk Game paradigm (Gneezy, 2005) for our research setting and find support for our hypotheses across three different vignettes and a laboratory study using a behavioral measure of deception.

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  • Van Zant, Alex B. & Kray, Laura J., 2013. ""I Can't Lie to Your Face": Minimal Face-to-Face Interaction Promotes Honestry," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt88f3409v, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt88f3409v

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Business; trust; gender; social projection; deception; ethical decision making;

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