It's Not a Lie If You Believe the Norm Does Not Apply: Conditional Norm-Following with Strategic Beliefs

60 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2020

See all articles by Cristina Bicchieri

Cristina Bicchieri

University of Pennsylvania

Eugen Dimant

University of Pennsylvania; CESifo

Silvia Sonderegger

University of Nottingham

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

We experimentally investigate whether individuals strategically distort their beliefs about dominant norms. Embedded in the context of lying, we systematically vary both the nature of elicited beliefs (descriptive about what others do, or normative about what others approve of) and whether subjects are aware of the forthcoming lying opportunity at the belief-formation stage. We build a dual-self model of belief distortion applied to the context of social norms and derive a number of precise predictions. Our findings provide a perspective on why, when and which norm-relevant beliefs are strategically distorted and show that not all belief distortions are created equal.

Keywords: lying, social norms, strategic beliefs, uncertainty

JEL Classification: C720, C910, D800, D900

Suggested Citation

Bicchieri, Cristina and Dimant, Eugen and Sonderegger, Silvia, It's Not a Lie If You Believe the Norm Does Not Apply: Conditional Norm-Following with Strategic Beliefs (2020). CESifo Working Paper No. 8059, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3529015

Cristina Bicchieri (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-5820 (Phone)

Eugen Dimant

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/view/eugendimant/

CESifo ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich
Germany

Silvia Sonderegger

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

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