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The Effect of Communication Channels on Lying

Julian Conrads ()

No 05-06, Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series from Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences

Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of different channels of communication on lying behavior. A simple coin flip game with four coin tosses is adapted in which subjects have monetary incentives to misreport their private information. The treatments differ with respect to the communication channel employed to convey the private information, i.e., face-to face, phone, computer-mediated, and online. Against the hypotheses, the results show that a majority of subjects lies independently of communication channel in use. However, the decision whether to lie either to some or the full extent depends on the communication channel. Compared to more socially-distant communication, direct communication encourages partial lying, but decreases lying to the extreme. Women tend to lie to the full extent only under online communication. Social distance considerations and the probability of being detect lying may drive observed behavioral patterns. The findings highlight the relevance of lying costs in relation to the decision making environment.

Keywords: experiment; private information; lying costs; communication (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D63 D82 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-cta, nep-exp and nep-ict
Date: 2014-01-06
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