Social preferences and dishonesty: experimental approach

Principal Investigator: Ing. Olga ŠLECHTOVÁ SOJKOVÁ
Project Number:SGS-2021-009
Grant awarded by:ZČU


Dishonesty and cheating are frequent topics of behavioral economics due to their factual impact in situations such a breaking the orders of authorities or management, human resources, taxes evasions, corruption, filling the norms (working, safety, hygiene, technical, environmental...), dual food quality, intently bad products, built-in obsolescence, exploitation of common resources, prevent of climate changes, etc. Large evidence from experiments and the field reports that all people have a tendency to cheat, but there is a large heterogeneity across people in the extent they are willing to cheat. This tendency may depend on a wide scale of different determinants: culture (individualism or collectivism, social acceptance of cheating), religions, pressure for success, personal characteristics (ethical attitude, intelligence, the need of social approval), belief "everyone cheats," also on preferences (time, social, risk), expectations or behavior in strategic situations. There is no clear evidence about the importance or intensity of how these factors influence cheating in the literature. We will study one of them. The objective of this research is to QUANTIFY THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHEATING AND SOCIAL PREFERENCES.

The idea of social preferences bypass the hypothesis of selfish behavior (Homo Economics), and instead of that, interdependent preferences are used. The individual utility function involves the utility of other members of the society. The distributive preferences include the equality of the income distribution in the society. The reciprocal preferences include the own utility from reward or punish the others following the rule: behave fair to those who were fair to me; behave with rudeness to those who were rude. The social preferences consist of attributes such as altruism, reciprocity, belief, fairness, spite, and competitiveness. Social preferences can determine dishonesty and cheating at the expense of other members of society.