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Lies have long legs cheating, peer scrutiny and loyalty in teams

Pietro Battiston, Simona Gamba, Matteo Rizzolli and Valentina Rotondi ()

Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), 2021, vol. 94, issue C

Abstract: Groups affect cheating in a variety of ways. While it is typically assumed that third party scrutiny decreases cheating, there is scarce evidence as to whether members of a team cheat more or less if their individual actions are disclosed to their peers. To fill this gap, we run a lab-in-the-field experiment with boy and girl scouts during their summer camps. Scout troops are organized into patrols: these are naturally occurring and persistent groups that own common goods and are very different from the minimal groups typically used in lab experiments. While we find a very low overall level of cheating, our results show that disclosure to peers induces more cheating. In a follow-up experiment, we are able to replicate this finding within a population of students of the same age. Our results are somehow in contrast with other studies showing that hierarchical scrutiny decreases cheating but are aligned with ample evidence from different social science fields on the adverse effects of peer interactions among adolescents. Finally, our findings suggest that this adverse peer effect is independent from whether cheating rewards the team or the individual.

Keywords: Lying; Deception; Cheating; Peer scrutiny; Social image; Adolescents; Children; Scouts; Loyalty; Experiments; Behavioral economics; Moral balancing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Working Paper: Lies have long legs. Cheating, public scrutiny and loyalty in teams (2018) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:soceco:v:94:y:2021:i:c:s2214804321000720

DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2021.101732

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Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics) is currently edited by Pablo Brañas Garza

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