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NCJ Number: 52100 Find in a Library
Title: IS FINANCIAL DISHONESTY A RATIONAL DECISION?
Journal: BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIAL AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY  Volume:16  Pages:139-146
Author(s): D P FARRINGTON; R F KIDD
Corporate Author: Cambridge University Press
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Cambridge University Press
Cambridge, CB2 IRP, England
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE THEORY THAT FINANCIAL DISHONESTY IS A RATIONAL DECISION IN WHICH THE LIKELIHOOD OF BEING DISHONEST INCREASES WITH THE UTILITY OF DISHONESTY AND DECREASES WITH ITS COST IS TESTED IN A FIELD EXPERIMENT.
Abstract: PEOPLE IN THE STREETS OF CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND, WERE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO ACCEPT DISHONESTLY A COIN FROM AN EXPERIMENTER UNDER TWO CONDITIONS OF UTILITY (LOW OR HIGH) AN TWO CONDITIONS OF COST (LOW OR HIGH). UTILITY WAS VARIED BY THE VALUE OF THE COIN, AND COST WAS VARIED BY THE EXPERIMENTER'S STATEMENT. (IN THE LOW COST CONDITION, THE EXPERIMENTER, OFFERING THE COIN TO THE SUBJECT, SAID, 'EXCUSE ME, I THINK YOU DROPPED THIS.' IN THE HIGH COST CONDITION, THE EXPERIMENTER SAID, 'EXCUSE ME, DID YOU DROP THIS?') OF THE 84 SUBJECTS TESTED, 31 FALSELY CLAIMED THE COIN. THE AGREEMENT WITH THE PREDICTION, MORE DISHONESTY OCCURRED IN THE LOW COST CONDITION. HOWEVER, THE UTILITY MANIPULATION HAD NO OVERALL EFFECT ON DISHONESTY. COST INTERACTED SIGNIFICANTLY WITH THE SEX OF THE EXPERIMENTER IN THAT THE COST MANIPULATION AFFECTED DISHONESTY ONLY WHEN THE EXPERIMENTER WAS MALE. IT WAS ALSO FOUND THAT HIGH UTILITY TENDED TO PRODUCE GREATER DISHONESTY IN THE LOW COST CONDITION THAN IN THE HIGH COST CONDITION. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE RESULTS DO NOT WHOLLY SUPPORT THE THEORY THAT FINANCIAL DISHONESTY INVOLVES A RATIONAL DECISION. SUPPORTING DATA AND A LIST OF REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LKM)
Main Term(s): Studies
Index Term(s): England; Individual behavior; Misconduct; Motivation
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52100

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