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Deceptive Communication: Direct Lies vs. Ignorance, Partial-Truth and Silence

Author

Listed:
  • Despoina Alempaki

    (Warwick Business School)

  • Valeria Burdea

    (LMU Munich)

  • Daniel Read

    (Warwick Business School)

Abstract

In cases of conflict of interest, people can lie directly or evade the truth. We analyse this situation theoretically and test the key behavioural predictions in a novel sender-receiver game. We find senders prefer to deceive through evasion rather than direct lying, more so when evasion is a partial-truth. This is because they do not want to deceive others nor be seen as deceptive. Receivers are sensitive to the deceptive language and more likely to act in senders’ favour when these lie directly. Our findings suggest dishonesty is more prevalent and costlier than previous best estimates focusing on direct lies.

Suggested Citation

  • Despoina Alempaki & Valeria Burdea & Daniel Read, 2023. "Deceptive Communication: Direct Lies vs. Ignorance, Partial-Truth and Silence," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 444, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
  • Handle: RePEc:rco:dpaper:444
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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