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The Influence of Self and Social Image Concerns on Lying

Zvonimir Bašic () and Simone Quercia
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Zvonimir Bašic: Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn

No 2020_18, Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods from Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Abstract: We investigate the influence of self and social image concerns as potential sources of lying costs across two studies (n = 991). In Experiment 1, in a standard die-rolling paradigm, we exogenously manipulate self-awareness and observability, which direct the focus of a person on their private and public selves, respectively. We find that our self-awareness manipulation has no effect on overreporting in comparison to a control treatment, while our observability manipulation significantly decreases reports. In Experiment 2, we introduce a design that allows to compare the effects of self and social image concerns by directing the focus either on oneself or on an external observer while keeping constant the set of observers and their information. In line with the results from Experiment 1, people lie significantly less when their focus is on the external observer rather than on themselves.

Keywords: truth-telling; lying; private information; self-image concerns; social image concerns (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D63 D82 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-08, Revised 2022-03-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-hpe
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6)

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Journal Article: The influence of self and social image concerns on lying (2022) Downloads
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