Finance Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

1-2015

Publication Source

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

Volume

126

Start Page

88

Last Page

106

DOI

10.1016/j.obhdp.2014.10.007

Abstract

Philosophers, psychologists, and economists have long asserted that deception harms trust. We challenge this claim. Across four studies, we demonstrate that deception can increase trust. Specifically, prosocial lies increase the willingness to pass money in the trust game, a behavioral measure of benevolence-based trust. In Studies 1a and 1b, we find that altruistic lies increase trust when deception is directly experienced and when it is merely observed. In Study 2, we demonstrate that mutually beneficial lies also increase trust. In Study 3, we disentangle the effects of intentions and deception; intentions are far more important than deception for building benevolence-based trust. In Study 4, we examine how prosocial lies influence integrity-based trust. We introduce a new economic game, the Rely-or-Verifygame, to measure integrity-based trust. Prosocial lies increase benevolence-based trust, but harm integrity-based trust. Our findings expand our understanding of deception and deepen our insight into the mechanics of trust.

Copyright/Permission Statement

© 2015. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Keywords

deception, trust, experiments, ethics

Embargo Date

12-5-2017

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Date Posted: 27 November 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.