IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/cegedp/340.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Be close to me and I will be honest: How social distance influences honesty

Author

Listed:
  • Hermann, Daniel
  • Ostermaier, Andreas

Abstract

We conducted a laboratory experiment to examine how honesty depends on social distance. Participants cast dice and reported the outcomes to allocate money between themselves and fellow students or the socially distant experimenter. They could lie about outcomes to earn more money. We found that dishonesty increases with social distance. However, responsiveness to social distance depends on personal preferences about inequity and honesty as a moral value. We observed selfish "black lies" but not altruistic "white lies" (outcomes were not understated to reduce inequality). Our results suggest that the reduction of social distance can promote honesty in social interactions.

Suggested Citation

  • Hermann, Daniel & Ostermaier, Andreas, 2018. "Be close to me and I will be honest: How social distance influences honesty," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 340, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:340
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/175269/1/1014833183.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Utikal, Verena & Fischbacher, Urs, 2013. "Disadvantageous lies in individual decisions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 108-111.
    2. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
    3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    4. Holm, Håkan J. & Kawagoe, Toshiji, 2010. "Face-to-face lying - An experimental study in Sweden and Japan," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 310-321, June.
    5. Urs Fischbacher & Franziska Föllmi-Heusi, 2013. "Lies In Disguise—An Experimental Study On Cheating," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 525-547, June.
    6. Houser, Daniel & List, John A. & Piovesan, Marco & Samek, Anya & Winter, Joachim, 2016. "Dishonesty: From parents to children," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 242-254.
    7. Erat, Sanjiv, 2013. "Avoiding lying: The case of delegated deception," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 273-278.
    8. 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.
    9. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
    10. 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.
    11. Lewis, Alan & Bardis, Alexander & Flint, Chloe & Mason, Claire & Smith, Natalya & Tickle, Charlotte & Zinser, Jennifer, 2012. "Drawing the line somewhere: An experimental study of moral compromise," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 718-725.
    12. Rosenbaum, Stephen Mark & Billinger, Stephan & Stieglitz, Nils, 2014. "Let’s be honest: A review of experimental evidence of honesty and truth-telling," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 181-196.
    13. Zultan, Ro’i, 2012. "Strategic and social pre-play communication in the ultimatum game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 425-434.
    14. Rajna Gibson & Carmen Tanner & Alexander F. Wagner, 2013. "Preferences for Truthfulness: Heterogeneity among and within Individuals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 532-548, February.
    15. Kajackaite, Agne & Gneezy, Uri, 2017. "Incentives and cheating," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 433-444.
    16. Matthias Sutter, 2009. "Deception Through Telling the Truth?! Experimental Evidence From Individuals and Teams," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 47-60, January.
    17. Houser, Daniel & Vetter, Stefan & Winter, Joachim, 2012. "Fairness and cheating," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1645-1655.
    18. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Normann, Hans Theo, 2011. "A within-subject analysis of other-regarding preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 321-338, June.
    19. Michael Kosfeld & Armin Falk, 2006. "The Hidden Costs of Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1611-1630, December.
    20. Gneezy, Uri & Rockenbach, Bettina & Serra-Garcia, Marta, 2013. "Measuring lying aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 293-300.
    21. Uri Gneezy & Agne Kajackaite & Joel Sobel, 2018. "Lying Aversion and the Size of the Lie," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(2), pages 419-453, February.
    22. 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.
    23. Lukas Meub & Till Proeger & Tim Schneider & Kilian Bizer, 2016. "The victim matters – experimental evidence on lying, moral costs and moral cleansing," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(16), pages 1162-1167, November.
    24. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2008. "What's in a name? Anonymity and social distance in dictator and ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-35, October.
    25. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-660, June.
    26. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hu, Fangtingyu & Ben-Ner, Avner, 2020. "The effects of feedback on lying behavior: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 24-34.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cheating; honesty; social distance; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:340. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cdgoede.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.