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Peer effects in unethical behavior: standing or reputation?

Pascual-Ezama D, Dunfield D, Gil-Gómez de Liaño B, Prelec D - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: First, we show that working in the presence of peers is an effective mechanism to constrain honest/dishonest behavior compared to an isolated work situation (experiment 1).Second, we demonstrate that the mere suspicion of dishonesty from another peer is not enough to affect individual cheating behavior (experiment 2), suggesting that reputation holds great importance in a worker's self-image acting as a strong social incentives.Third, we show that when the suspicion of dishonesty increases with multiple peers behaving dishonestly, the desire to increase standing is sufficient to nudge individuals' behavior back to cheating at the same levels as isolated situations (experiment 3).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Financial Economy and Accounting II, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.

ABSTRACT
Recent empirical evidence shows that working in an unsupervised, isolated situation under competition, can increase dishonest behavior to achieve prestige. However, could working in a common space, in the presence of colleagues affect cheating? Here, we examine how familiar-peer influence, supervision and social incentives affect worker performance and dishonest behavior. First, we show that working in the presence of peers is an effective mechanism to constrain honest/dishonest behavior compared to an isolated work situation (experiment 1). Second, we demonstrate that the mere suspicion of dishonesty from another peer is not enough to affect individual cheating behavior (experiment 2), suggesting that reputation holds great importance in a worker's self-image acting as a strong social incentives. Third, we show that when the suspicion of dishonesty increases with multiple peers behaving dishonestly, the desire to increase standing is sufficient to nudge individuals' behavior back to cheating at the same levels as isolated situations (experiment 3).

No MeSH data available.


Time per units in the HS, LS, and NS conditions.Time spent in different supervision situations when participants are in isolated situations, or when the task is done individually but in the presence of other people (with or without confederates’ manipulations).
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pone.0122305.g002: Time per units in the HS, LS, and NS conditions.Time spent in different supervision situations when participants are in isolated situations, or when the task is done individually but in the presence of other people (with or without confederates’ manipulations).

Mentions: In the same vein, these results are very similar to those found in the analysis of the time-proxy cheating measure. We found a main effect in the one-way ANOVA for Supervision [F(2,61) = 149.90; p = <.001; η2 = .83] significant for all comparisons (p<.001) including differences between LS and NS (p = .03). It means that, in contrast to results found in previous experiments, participants in NS spent less time per declared unit than participants in LS, suggesting that seeing three lures increased the level of cheating when participants were 100% sure that they would not be caught (NS). Likewise, in the 3x4 ANOVA with Supervision and Presence of Others as factors, there was a main effect of both factors [F(2,256) = 88.27; p = <.001; η2 = .41] and [F(3,256) = 140.47; p = <.001; η2 = .62], respectively, and Interaction [F(6,256) = 23.98; p = <.001; η2 = .36]. There were no differences in HS conditions among Presence of Others situations (I, FP, L and TL; p = .245 for the biggest difference). But more importantly, the pattern of results is the same between I and TL situations, and between FP and L, as can be clearly seen in Fig 2 (just like the results found for Cheating). That is, when there is a clear suspicion of cheating (TL) under low supervision, dishonest behavior is increased, matching that of an isolated work environment. Moreover, “clear-cheating suspicion” (three lures) in NS makes a difference even with LS and I, likely because workers in the NS condition are very sure that the lures are clearly cheating.


Peer effects in unethical behavior: standing or reputation?

Pascual-Ezama D, Dunfield D, Gil-Gómez de Liaño B, Prelec D - PLoS ONE (2015)

Time per units in the HS, LS, and NS conditions.Time spent in different supervision situations when participants are in isolated situations, or when the task is done individually but in the presence of other people (with or without confederates’ manipulations).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4390288&req=5

pone.0122305.g002: Time per units in the HS, LS, and NS conditions.Time spent in different supervision situations when participants are in isolated situations, or when the task is done individually but in the presence of other people (with or without confederates’ manipulations).
Mentions: In the same vein, these results are very similar to those found in the analysis of the time-proxy cheating measure. We found a main effect in the one-way ANOVA for Supervision [F(2,61) = 149.90; p = <.001; η2 = .83] significant for all comparisons (p<.001) including differences between LS and NS (p = .03). It means that, in contrast to results found in previous experiments, participants in NS spent less time per declared unit than participants in LS, suggesting that seeing three lures increased the level of cheating when participants were 100% sure that they would not be caught (NS). Likewise, in the 3x4 ANOVA with Supervision and Presence of Others as factors, there was a main effect of both factors [F(2,256) = 88.27; p = <.001; η2 = .41] and [F(3,256) = 140.47; p = <.001; η2 = .62], respectively, and Interaction [F(6,256) = 23.98; p = <.001; η2 = .36]. There were no differences in HS conditions among Presence of Others situations (I, FP, L and TL; p = .245 for the biggest difference). But more importantly, the pattern of results is the same between I and TL situations, and between FP and L, as can be clearly seen in Fig 2 (just like the results found for Cheating). That is, when there is a clear suspicion of cheating (TL) under low supervision, dishonest behavior is increased, matching that of an isolated work environment. Moreover, “clear-cheating suspicion” (three lures) in NS makes a difference even with LS and I, likely because workers in the NS condition are very sure that the lures are clearly cheating.

Bottom Line: First, we show that working in the presence of peers is an effective mechanism to constrain honest/dishonest behavior compared to an isolated work situation (experiment 1).Second, we demonstrate that the mere suspicion of dishonesty from another peer is not enough to affect individual cheating behavior (experiment 2), suggesting that reputation holds great importance in a worker's self-image acting as a strong social incentives.Third, we show that when the suspicion of dishonesty increases with multiple peers behaving dishonestly, the desire to increase standing is sufficient to nudge individuals' behavior back to cheating at the same levels as isolated situations (experiment 3).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Financial Economy and Accounting II, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.

ABSTRACT
Recent empirical evidence shows that working in an unsupervised, isolated situation under competition, can increase dishonest behavior to achieve prestige. However, could working in a common space, in the presence of colleagues affect cheating? Here, we examine how familiar-peer influence, supervision and social incentives affect worker performance and dishonest behavior. First, we show that working in the presence of peers is an effective mechanism to constrain honest/dishonest behavior compared to an isolated work situation (experiment 1). Second, we demonstrate that the mere suspicion of dishonesty from another peer is not enough to affect individual cheating behavior (experiment 2), suggesting that reputation holds great importance in a worker's self-image acting as a strong social incentives. Third, we show that when the suspicion of dishonesty increases with multiple peers behaving dishonestly, the desire to increase standing is sufficient to nudge individuals' behavior back to cheating at the same levels as isolated situations (experiment 3).

No MeSH data available.