Prosocial Lies: When Deception Breeds Trust
80 Pages Posted: 18 May 2013 Last revised: 16 Jan 2017
Date Written: May 17, 2013
Philosophers, psychologists, and economists have long asserted that deception harms trust. We challenge this claim. We break new ground by demonstrating that some types of deception increase trust. Across five studies, we demonstrate that prosocial lying increases both behavioral and attitudinal measures of trust. We find that perceived benevolence is more important than perceived integrity in predicting trust behavior. We also find that deception, regardless of outcomes or intentions, harms integrity-based trust, a previously unexplored dimension of trust. This work expands our understanding of deception and deepens our insight into the mechanics of trust.
Keywords: deception, trust, experiments
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