Discussion Paper Series in Economics, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)
Alexander W. Cappelen
When do we lie?
(), Erik Ø. Sørensen
() and Bertil Tungodden
Abstract: The paper reports from an experiment studying how the
aversion to lying is affected by non-economic dimensions of the choice
situation. Specifically, we study whether people are more or less likely to
lie when the content of the lie is personal, when they base decisions on
intuition, and when they are in a market context. We also study how
aversion to lying depends on personal characteristics, including age,
gender, cognitive ability, personality and social preferences. Our main
finding is that non-economic aspects of the choice situation are crucial in
understanding aversion to lying. In particular, we find that people are
less likely to lie when the content of the message is personal. We also
find large effects from priming the participants to rely on intuition, but,
interestingly, in this case the effect only applies to males. Finally, we
find that people who are highly motivated by social preferences are more
averse to lying, but there is no significant relationship between lying
behavior and other personal characteristics.
Keywords: Experiment; lying; personal characteristics; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: D63; (follow links to similar papers)
16 pages, August 31, 2012
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