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Truth and trust in communication - Experiments on the effect of a competitive context

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  • Rode, Julian

    () (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

Abstract

The paper employs laboratory experimentation to study the effect of competition on truth telling and trust in communication. A sequence of either competitive or cooperative interactions preceded an experimental communication game. In the game, informed advisors sent a recommendation to decision-makers who faced uncertainty about the consequences of their choice. While many advisors told the truth against their monetary self-interest, the propensity to tell the truth was unaffected by the contextual priming. In contrast, decision-makers trusted significantly less in a competitive context. The effect was strongest when they faced full uncertainty. The paper relates this result to psychological and neuro-economic findings on automatic information processing. The data of this study were largely in line with Subjective Equilibrium Analysis (Kalai and Lehrer, 1995).

Suggested Citation

  • Rode, Julian, 2008. "Truth and trust in communication - Experiments on the effect of a competitive context," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 08-04, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  • Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:08-04
    Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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    File URL: http://www.sfb504.uni-mannheim.de/publications/dp08-04.pdf
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