Low Cognitive Reflection Predicts Honesty for Men But Not for Women

23 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2018 Last revised: 30 Oct 2018

See all articles by Valerio Capraro

Valerio Capraro

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Psychology

Niko Peltola

Middlesex University

Date Written: September 18, 2018

Abstract

Previous experiments have explored the effects of gender and cognitive reflection on dishonesty separately. To the best of our knowledge, no studies have investigated potential interactions between these two factors. Exploring this interaction is important because previous work found that males tend to be both more deliberative than females. Therefore, it is possible that the gender effect on dishonesty is moderated by cognitive reflection. Here we report a large online experiment (N = 766) where subjects first have a chance to lie for their benefit and then take a Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT). We find a significant interaction between gender and CRT score such that lack of deliberation promotes honesty for men but not for women. Additional analyses highlight that this effect is mainly driven by men whose answers in the CRT are neither intuitive nor deliberative, who happen to be particularly honest in our deception game.

Keywords: honesty, intuition, deliberation, sex differences

JEL Classification: C70, C79, C90, C91, C92, D64, D70, D71, H41

Suggested Citation

Capraro, Valerio and Peltola, Niko, Low Cognitive Reflection Predicts Honesty for Men But Not for Women (September 18, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3182830 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3182830

Valerio Capraro (Contact Author)

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Psychology ( email )

Niko Peltola

Middlesex University ( email )

The Burroughs
London, NW4 4BT
United Kingdom

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