Groups affect cheating in a variety of ways. While it is typically assumed that third party scrutiny decreases cheating, there is scarce evidence as to whether members of a team cheat more or less if their individual actions are disclosed to their peers. To fill this gap, we run a lab-in-the-field experiment with boy and girl scouts during their summer camps. Scout troops are organized into patrols: these are naturally occurring and persistent groups that own common goods and are very different from the minimal groups typically used in lab experiments. While we find a very low overall level of cheating, our results show that disclosure to peers induces more cheating. In a follow-up experiment, we are able to replicate this finding within a population of students of the same age. Our results are somehow in contrast with other studies showing that hierarchical scrutiny decreases cheating but are aligned with ample evidence from different social science fields on the adverse effects of peer interactions among adolescents. Finally, our findings suggest that this adverse peer effect is independent from whether cheating rewards the team or the individual.

Lies have long legs cheating, peer scrutiny and loyalty in teams / P. Battiston, S. Gamba, M. Rizzolli, V. Rotondi. - In: JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL AND EXPERIMENTAL ECONOMICS. - ISSN 2214-8043. - 94(2021), pp. 101732.1-101732.16. [10.1016/j.socec.2021.101732]

Lies have long legs cheating, peer scrutiny and loyalty in teams

S. Gamba;
2021

Abstract

Groups affect cheating in a variety of ways. While it is typically assumed that third party scrutiny decreases cheating, there is scarce evidence as to whether members of a team cheat more or less if their individual actions are disclosed to their peers. To fill this gap, we run a lab-in-the-field experiment with boy and girl scouts during their summer camps. Scout troops are organized into patrols: these are naturally occurring and persistent groups that own common goods and are very different from the minimal groups typically used in lab experiments. While we find a very low overall level of cheating, our results show that disclosure to peers induces more cheating. In a follow-up experiment, we are able to replicate this finding within a population of students of the same age. Our results are somehow in contrast with other studies showing that hierarchical scrutiny decreases cheating but are aligned with ample evidence from different social science fields on the adverse effects of peer interactions among adolescents. Finally, our findings suggest that this adverse peer effect is independent from whether cheating rewards the team or the individual.
Adolescents; Behavioral economics; Cheating; Children; Deception; Experiments; Loyalty; Lying; Moral balancing; Peer scrutiny; Scouts; Social image
Settore SECS-P/01 - Economia Politica
Settore SECS-P/03 - Scienza delle Finanze
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/890615
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