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Groups disguise lying better


  • Yoshitaka Okano

    (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology)

  • Eiji Goto

    (Nichinan Gakuen Junior High School)


This study experimentally examines the lying behavior of individuals and two-person groups, using a dice-rolling experiment developed by Fischbacher and Follmi-Heusi (2013). We found strong evidence of lying in both individuals and groups,but partial lying (not lying to the maximum extent possible) is more pronounced under group decisions. Furthermore, from the experimental data, we estimated thepreference parameter(s) of existing models for lying aversion. The results reveal thatgroups are more sensitive to the social image concern of not being perceived as a liar and have a lower cost of lying than individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Yoshitaka Okano & Eiji Goto, 2019. "Groups disguise lying better," Working Papers SDES-2019-7, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Jun 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:kch:wpaper:sdes-2019-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Muehlheusser, Gerd & Roider, Andreas & Wallmeier, Niklas, 2015. "Gender differences in honesty: Groups versus individuals," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 25-29.
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    6. Martin G. Kocher & Simeon Schudy & Lisa Spantig, 2018. "I Lie? We Lie! Why? Experimental Evidence on a Dishonesty Shift in Groups," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(9), pages 3995-4008, September.
    7. Tamar Kugler & Edgar E. Kausel & Martin G. Kocher, 2012. "Are Groups more Rational than Individuals? A Review of Interactive Decision Making in Groups," CESifo Working Paper Series 3701, CESifo.
    8. Heiko Rauhut, 2013. "Beliefs about Lying and Spreading of Dishonesty: Undetected Lies and Their Constructive and Destructive Social Dynamics in Dice Experiments," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 8(11), pages 1-8, November.
    9. Kiryl Khalmetski & Dirk Sliwka, 2019. "Disguising Lies—Image Concerns and Partial Lying in Cheating Games," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 79-110, November.
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    More about this item


    Lying; group decision; experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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