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Beliefs and truth-telling: A laboratory experiment

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  • Ronald Peeters
  • Marc Vorsatz
  • Markus Walzl

Abstract

We conduct a laboratory experiment with a constant-sum sender-receiver game to investigate the impact of individuals' first- and second-order beliefs on truth-telling. While senders are more likely to lie if they expect the receiver to trust their message (which is in line with expected payoff maximization), they are also more likely to tell the truth if they believe the receiver expects them to tell the truth. We observe no such dependence on second-order beliefs in a payoff equivalent game of matching pennies. Our results therefore indicate an impact of second-order beliefs as derived in models of guilt aversion in an antagonistic setting which is specific to strategic information transmission.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald Peeters & Marc Vorsatz & Markus Walzl, 2012. "Beliefs and truth-telling: A laboratory experiment," Working Papers 2012-17, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck, revised Nov 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2012-17
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Weekly Roundup 185: A Curated Linkfest For The Smartest People On The Web!
      by Miguel in Simoleon Sense on 2012-09-09 22:13:42

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    3. Sascha Behnk & Iván Barreda-Tarrazona & Aurora García-Gallego, 2018. "Punishing liars—How monitoring affects honesty and trust," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(10), pages 1-30, October.
    4. Feess, Eberhard & Kerzenmacher, Florian & Muehlheusser, Gerd, 2020. "Moral Transgressions by Groups: What Drives Individual Voting Behavior?," IZA Discussion Papers 13383, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Sascha Behnk & Iván Barreda-Tarrazona & Aurora García-Gallego, 2017. "An experimental test of reporting systems for deception," Working Papers 2017/11, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    6. Behnk, Sascha & Barreda-Tarrazona, Iván & García-Gallego, Aurora, 2014. "The role of ex post transparency in information transmission—An experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 45-64.
    7. Giuseppe Attanasi & Claire Rimbaud & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2020. "Guilt Aversion in (New) Games: the Role of Vulnerability," GREDEG Working Papers 2020-15, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
    8. Cao, Qian & Li, Jianbiao & Niu, Xiaofei, 2022. "White lies in tournaments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 96(C).
    9. Behnk, Sascha & Barreda-Tarrazona, Iván & García-Gallego, Aurora, 2019. "Deception and reputation – An experimental test of reporting systems," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 37-58.
    10. Eberhard Feess & Florian Kerzenmacher & Gerd Muehlheusser, 2020. "Moral Transgressions by Groups: What Drives Individual Voting Behavior?," CESifo Working Paper Series 8384, CESifo.
    11. Peeters, Ronald & Vorsatz, Marc, 2021. "Simple guilt and cooperation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    12. Tobias Beck, 2020. "Lying and Mistrust in the Continuous Deception Game," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202030, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    13. Beck, Tobias, 2021. "How the honesty oath works: Quick, intuitive truth telling under oath," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 94(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experiment; Sender-receiver games; Strategic information transmission; Guilt-from-blame; let-down aversion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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