Dishonesty in Everyday Life and its Policy Implications

The Society for Judgment and Decision Making email list tipped me off to an interesting paper from Nina Mazar and Dan Ariely from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. As the abstract explains:

Dishonest acts are all too prevalent in day-to-day life. In the current review, we examine some possible psychological causes for such dishonesty that go beyond the standard economic considerations of probability and value of external payoffs. We propose a general model of dishonest behavior that includes also internal psychological reward mechanisms for honesty and dishonesty, and we point to the implications of this model in terms of curbing dishonesty.

The paper is due to appear in the next issue of the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing (Spring 2006), but their January 2006 working paper can be downloaded for free as a pdf file via SSRN here.

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