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Lying under self-control depletion and time pressure

Serhiy Kandul and Apshara Naguleswaran

No 19-05, IRENE Working Papers from IRENE Institute of Economic Research

Abstract: Dealing with temptations requires self-control. If lying for money constitutes a temptation, restricting people's self-control resources would enhance unethical behavior. We argue that the effect of the self-control on lying depends on two things: 1) easiness to grasp the opportunity to lie, and 2) the amount of time available to decide. In an incentivized online experiment, we manipulate participants' self-control resources through an ego depletion task and allow participants to misreport the outcome of a dice-roll with and without time pressure. We find evidence that ego depletion increases the fraction of truth-tellers under time pressure. Our findings suggest that when discovering the opportunities to lie is not trivial and people are constrained with the time, self-control depletion enhances people's ethical behavior.

Keywords: Lying; Ego depletion; Self-control; Ethical behavior; Time pressure. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 10 pages.
Date: 2019-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-neu
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