Lie Aversion, Anonymity and Social Distance: Are People More Willing to Lie Using a Mobile Phone?
31 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2020
Date Written: May 10, 2020
We report the results of an experiment designed to test if individuals are more dishonest when using a smartphone, desktop computer or pen and paper. We explore this in both a setting where dishonesty benefits another (mutual-gain), and one where it harms another (zero-sum). We find that dishonesty is higher with a smartphone than with pen and paper in both the mutual-gain and zero-sum settings. With a desktop computer, dishonesty is relatively high in the mutual-gain setting but low in the zero-sum setting. We interpret our findings in terms of the influence the communication media has on perceived social distance and anonymity.
Keywords: lie aversion; dishonesty; paper experiment; online experiment; smart phone experiment
JEL Classification: C72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation