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Defaults and dishonesty: Evidence from a representative sample in the lab

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Defaults and dishonesty : Evidence from a representative sample in the lab. / Fosgaard, Toke.

In: Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Vol. 157, 01.2019, p. 670-679.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Harvard

Fosgaard, T 2019, 'Defaults and dishonesty: Evidence from a representative sample in the lab' Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, vol. 157, pp. 670-679. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2018.11.006

APA

Fosgaard, T. (2019). Defaults and dishonesty: Evidence from a representative sample in the lab. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 157, 670-679. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2018.11.006

Vancouver

Fosgaard T. Defaults and dishonesty: Evidence from a representative sample in the lab. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 2019 Jan;157:670-679. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2018.11.006

Author

Fosgaard, Toke. / Defaults and dishonesty : Evidence from a representative sample in the lab. In: Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 2019 ; Vol. 157. pp. 670-679.

Bibtex

@article{eb9dfbbe973e4faab2a64d23e746f27c,
title = "Defaults and dishonesty: Evidence from a representative sample in the lab",
abstract = "Unethical behavior is a massive societal problem that occurs in almost all aspects of our everyday lives. A prominent theory in behavioral economics is that the decision about whether to behave dishonestly involves a balance between securing greater gains, on the one hand, and maintaining a good self-image, on the other. In the present study, I explore whether simple manipulation of default behavior can influence this balance. In a laboratory experiment using a sample of the general population, the impact of default answers on dishonesty is studied. In a task of reporting the outcome of die rolls in private, I randomly impose default answers. The defaults are either high and favorable, low and unfavorable, the expected mean of the die rolls, or an empty condition with no default. I find that the high default answers are effective at increasing reporting, whereas the low defaults do not result in a corresponding reduction, compared to no default or the expected mean as the default answer. As a reference group, the experiment is repeated among a student sample with the results revealing that students react differently to the defaults. In particular, students did not increase their answers with high defaults, but including the mean as a default answer resulted in a significantly higher degree of cheating.",
keywords = "Cheating, Defaults, Die task, Experiment, Non-students, Reference points, Students",
author = "Toke Fosgaard",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.jebo.2018.11.006",
language = "English",
volume = "157",
pages = "670--679",
journal = "Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization",
issn = "0167-2681",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Defaults and dishonesty

T2 - Evidence from a representative sample in the lab

AU - Fosgaard, Toke

PY - 2019/1

Y1 - 2019/1

N2 - Unethical behavior is a massive societal problem that occurs in almost all aspects of our everyday lives. A prominent theory in behavioral economics is that the decision about whether to behave dishonestly involves a balance between securing greater gains, on the one hand, and maintaining a good self-image, on the other. In the present study, I explore whether simple manipulation of default behavior can influence this balance. In a laboratory experiment using a sample of the general population, the impact of default answers on dishonesty is studied. In a task of reporting the outcome of die rolls in private, I randomly impose default answers. The defaults are either high and favorable, low and unfavorable, the expected mean of the die rolls, or an empty condition with no default. I find that the high default answers are effective at increasing reporting, whereas the low defaults do not result in a corresponding reduction, compared to no default or the expected mean as the default answer. As a reference group, the experiment is repeated among a student sample with the results revealing that students react differently to the defaults. In particular, students did not increase their answers with high defaults, but including the mean as a default answer resulted in a significantly higher degree of cheating.

AB - Unethical behavior is a massive societal problem that occurs in almost all aspects of our everyday lives. A prominent theory in behavioral economics is that the decision about whether to behave dishonestly involves a balance between securing greater gains, on the one hand, and maintaining a good self-image, on the other. In the present study, I explore whether simple manipulation of default behavior can influence this balance. In a laboratory experiment using a sample of the general population, the impact of default answers on dishonesty is studied. In a task of reporting the outcome of die rolls in private, I randomly impose default answers. The defaults are either high and favorable, low and unfavorable, the expected mean of the die rolls, or an empty condition with no default. I find that the high default answers are effective at increasing reporting, whereas the low defaults do not result in a corresponding reduction, compared to no default or the expected mean as the default answer. As a reference group, the experiment is repeated among a student sample with the results revealing that students react differently to the defaults. In particular, students did not increase their answers with high defaults, but including the mean as a default answer resulted in a significantly higher degree of cheating.

KW - Cheating

KW - Defaults

KW - Die task

KW - Experiment

KW - Non-students

KW - Reference points

KW - Students

U2 - 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.11.006

DO - 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.11.006

M3 - Journal article

VL - 157

SP - 670

EP - 679

JO - Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization

JF - Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization

SN - 0167-2681

ER -

ID: 210317703