Why Do We Lie? A Practical Guide to the Dishonesty Literature

31 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2018

See all articles by Catrine Jacobsen

Catrine Jacobsen

University of Copenhagen

Toke Reinholt Fosgaard

University of Copenhagen

David Pascual‐Ezama

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)

Date Written: April 2018

Abstract

Over the last decade, a massive body of research has been devoted to uncovering human dishonesty. In the present paper, we review more than a hundred papers from this literature and provide a comprehensive overview by first listing the existing theoretical frameworks, and then covering the common empirical approaches, synthesizing the demographic and personal characteristics of those who cheat, identifying the behavioural mechanisms found that affect dishonesty and finally we finish by discussing how the empirical evidence fit theory. Overall, the review concludes that many people behave dishonestly, but also that it is a highly malleable behavior sensitive to elements such as decision contexts, behaviour of others, state of mind and depletion. The review can be used as an overview of the dishonesty literature or as a guide or work of reference for selected topics of interest.

Keywords: Cheating, Dishonesty, Ethics, Findings, Method, Review, Theory

Suggested Citation

Jacobsen, Catrine and Fosgaard, Toke Reinholt and Pascual‐Ezama, David, Why Do We Lie? A Practical Guide to the Dishonesty Literature (April 2018). Journal of Economic Surveys, Vol. 32, Issue 2, pp. 357-387, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3139054 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joes.12204

Catrine Jacobsen (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, DK-1165
Denmark

Toke Reinholt Fosgaard

University of Copenhagen

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, DK-1165
Denmark

David Pascual‐Ezama

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) ( email )

Carretera de Humera s/n
Madrid, Madrid 28223
Spain

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