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Can Upfront Declarations of Honesty Improve Anonymous Self-Reports of Sensitive Information? in Bucciol, A. and Montinari, N. (Eds.) Dishonesty in Behavioral Economics, Perspectives in Behavioral Economics and the Economics of Behavior (2019) Elsevier, pp.319-340.

Authors:  Isoni, A., Read, D., Kolodko, J., Arango-Ochoa, J., Chua, J. and Tiku, S.

Abstract: Research in behavioural economics shows that signing honesty declarations before self-reports reduces systematic misreporting. We investigate if this nudge can help improve anonymous self-reports of sensitive information that cannot be independently verified, when there are strong priors of distortions due to social desirability bias. In four studies involving more than 1400 participants and examining behaviors as diverse as healthy lifestyles, littering, and petty corruption, we find that this nudge has remarkably little effect on survey responses. We conjecture that anonymity may be responsible for the result, as the declarer cannot be held responsible for the inaccuracy of the information provided.



Posted on Tuesday 23rd October 2018

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