Cheating More for Less: Upward Social Comparisons Motivate the Poorly Compensated to Cheat

@article{John2013CheatingMF,
  title={Cheating More for Less: Upward Social Comparisons Motivate the Poorly Compensated to Cheat},
  author={Leslie K John and George Loewenstein and Scott Rick},
  journal={Behavioral \& Experimental Economics eJournal},
  year={2013}
}
Intuitively, people should cheat more when cheating is more lucrative, but we find that the effect of performance-based pay-rates on dishonesty depends on how readily people can compare their pay-rate to that of others. In Experiment 1, participants were paid 5 cents or 25 cents per self-reported point in a trivia task, and half were aware that they could have received the alternative pay-rate. Lower pay-rates increased cheating when the prospect of a higher pay-rate was salient. Experiment 2… Expand
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