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An experiment on deception, reputation and trust

Ettinger, D; Jehiel, P; (2020) An experiment on deception, reputation and trust. Experimental Economics 10.1007/s10683-020-09681-9. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

An experiment is designed to shed light on how deception works. The experiment involves a twenty period sender/receiver game in which period 5 has more weight than other periods. In each period, the informed sender communicates about the realized state, the receiver then reports a belief about the state before being informed whether the sender lied. Throughout the interaction, a receiver is matched with the same sender who is either malevolent with an objective opposed to the receiver or benevolent always telling the truth. The main findings are: (1) in several variants (differing in the weight of the key period and the share of benevolent senders), the deceptive tactic in which malevolent senders tell the truth up to the key period and then lie at the key period is used roughly 25% of the time, (2) the deceptive tactic brings higher expected payoff than other observed strategies, and (3) a majority of receivers do not show cautiousness at the key period when no lie was made before. These observations do not match the predictions of the Sequential Equilibrium and can be organized using the analogy-based sequential equilibrium (ABSE) in which three quarters of subjects reason coarsely.

Type: Article
Title: An experiment on deception, reputation and trust
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10683-020-09681-9
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10683-020-09681-9
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10118155
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