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When do we lie?

Listed author(s):
  • Cappelen, Alexander W.

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Sørensen, Erik Ø.

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Tungodden, Bertil

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

The paper reports from an experiment studying how the aversion to lying is affected by non-economic dimensions of the choice situation. Specifically, we study whether people are more or less likely to lie when the content of the lie is personal, when they base decisions on intuition, and when they are in a market context. We also study how aversion to lying depends on personal characteristics, including age, gender, cognitive ability, personality and social preferences. Our main finding is that non-economic aspects of the choice situation are crucial in understanding aversion to lying. In particular, we find that people are less likely to lie when the content of the message is personal. We also find large effects from priming the participants to rely on intuition, but, interestingly, in this case the effect only applies to males. Finally, we find that people who are highly motivated by social preferences are more averse to lying, but there is no significant relationship between lying behavior and other personal characteristics.

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File URL: http://www.nhh.no/Admin/Public/DWSDownload.aspx?File=%2fFiles%2fFiler%2finstitutter%2fsam%2fDiscussion+papers%2f2012%2f17.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics in its series Discussion Paper Series in Economics with number 17/2012.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 31 Aug 2012
Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2012_017
Contact details of provider: Postal:
NHH, Department of Economics, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway

Phone: +47 55 959 277
Fax: 5595 9100
Web page: http://www.nhh.no/sam/
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  1. J Abeler & A Becker & A Falk, 2012. "Truth-telling - A Representative Assessment," Discussion Papers 2012-15, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  2. Chakravarty, Sugato & Jain, Pankaj & Upson, James & Wood, Robert, 2012. "Clean Sweep: Informed Trading through Intermarket Sweep Orders," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(02), pages 415-435, June.
  3. Lundquist, Tobias & Ellingsen, Tore & Gribbe, Erik & Johannesson, Magnus, 2009. "The aversion to lying," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 81-92, May.
  4. Lightle, John P., 2013. "Harmful lie aversion and lie discovery in noisy expert advice games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 347-362.
  5. Santiago Sánchez-Pagés & Marc Vorsatz, 2009. "Enjoy the silence: an experiment on truth-telling," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(2), pages 220-241, June.
  6. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
  7. Sugato Chakravarty & Yongjin Ma & Sandra Maximiano, 2011. "Lying and Friendship," Working Papers 1008, Purdue University, Department of Consumer Sciences, revised Mar 2011.
  8. Gneezy, Uri & Rockenbach, Bettina & Serra-Garcia, Marta, 2013. "Measuring lying aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 293-300.
  9. Daniel J. Benjamin & James J. Choi & A. Joshua Strickland, 2007. "Social Identity and Preferences," NBER Working Papers 13309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Erat, Sanjiv, 2013. "Avoiding lying: The case of delegated deception," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 273-278.
  11. Charness, Gary B & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2006. "Promises & Partnership," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0127h86v, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  12. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2013. "Deception: The role of guilt," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 227-232.
  13. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2003. "Truth or Consequences: An Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(1), pages 116-130, January.
  14. Dreber, Anna & Johannesson, Magnus, 2008. "Gender differences in deception," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 197-199, April.
  15. Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Deception through telling the truth?! Experimental evidence from individuals and teams," Working Papers 2007-26, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  16. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
  17. Hoffmann, Mareike & Lauer, Thomas & Rockenbach, Bettina, 2013. "The royal lie," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 305-313.
  18. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "Promises and Partnership," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000001, UCLA Department of Economics.
  19. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
  20. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  21. Angelova, Vera & Regner, Tobias, 2013. "Do voluntary payments to advisors improve the quality of financial advice? An experimental deception game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 205-218.
  22. Childs, Jason, 2012. "Gender differences in lying," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 147-149.
  23. Raúl López-Pérez & Eli Spiegelman, 2013. "Why do people tell the truth? Experimental evidence for pure lie aversion," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(3), pages 233-247, September.
  24. Omar Al-Ubaydli & Daniel Houser & John V.C. Nye & Maria Pia Paganelli & Xiaofei (Sophia) Pan, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Market Participation on Trust: An Experimental Investigation Using Randomized Control," Working Papers 1027, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
  25. Sanjiv Erat & Uri Gneezy, 2012. "White Lies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(4), pages 723-733, April.
  26. Friesen, Lana & Gangadharan, Lata, 2012. "Individual level evidence of dishonesty and the gender effect," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 624-626.
  27. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2010. "Bare promises: An experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 281-283, May.
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