Lying for Bonuses

  •  Junda Chang    


This study aims to determine whether being in a group setting makes lying easier through the diffusion of responsibility. Participants in three separate conditions, two paired and one isolated control, were asked to roll dice and report results. Participants also had the incentive of earning extra money if the reported number was a four, regardless of the truthfulness of the response. The results showed that participants overwhelmingly reported rolling a four, statistically indicating that many chose to lie. Additionally, one of the two group conditions proved to have significantly higher rates of reported lying than the individual condition (with the other group condition directionally higher but not significantly). The findings suggest that people are more likely to engage in immoral behavior when placed in a group setting as opposed to when acting independently.

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