Review of “Cheaters, Liars or Both? A New Classification of Dishonesty Profiles” (2020)
Read in 2020.
A typology of dishonesty in games of random chance. The result of a first version of an experiment, using a secretly monitored web site to simulate a coin flip with laboratory volunteers and Mechanical Turk workers (both being paid more real money for a “white” result), are summarized as follows in the paper.
|Flip the coin - obtain white - report white||LUCKY||44%||-||49%||-|
|Flip the coin - obtain black - report black||HONEST||22%||41%||19%||37%|
|Flip the coin - obtain black - repeat until white - report white||CHEATERS NON-LIARS||10%||17%||3.5%||7%|
|Flip the coin - obtain black - report white||LIARS||13%||23%||3.5%||7%|
|Do not flip the coin at all - report white||RADICAL DISHONEST||11%||19%||25%||49%|
The so-called “radical dishonest” category comprises people who both cheated (did not follow instructions) and lied (reported a result they did not get). These were identified by reporting a result too quickly to have gone to any web site other than the monitored one the researchers had prepared. The experiment is repeated with a die roll, permitting degrees of dishonesty but obtaining the same basic typology.
The discussion is interesting but doesn’t quite explain why the “MTurker” samples were more prone to radical dishonesty. I speculate that it has to do with motivational crowding out: Being alredy engaged in a primarily monetary relationship, they would maximize return on investment, rather than profit itself.