(Dis)honesty in the face of uncertain gains or losses


We examine dishonest behavior in the face of potential uncertain gains and losses in three pre-studies (N = 150, N = 225, N = 188) and a main study (N = 240). Ample research has shown that people cheat when presented with the opportunity. We use a die-under-cup paradigm, in which participants could dishonestly report a private die roll and thereby increase the odds to obtain a desired outcome. Results showed that the framing of the uncertain situation mattered: Participants who lied to decrease the likelihood to experience a loss used major lies (i.e., reporting a ‘6'), while those who lied to increase the chance to achieve an equivalent gain used more modest lies.

Journal of Economic Psychology
Shaul Shalvi
Shaul Shalvi
Professor of Behavioral Ethics

My research interests include fairness, equality, values and norms.