A theoretical and experimental examination of perceived expertise and dishonesty

Research Cluster

Speaker:Shaun Grimshaw, University of Exeter
Date: Tuesday 13 November 2018
Time: 12:30
Location: Xfi, Conference room 2

Further details

We propose a model of dishonesty based on perceived expertise, which generates an expectation level on performance. Such an expectation level alters the psychological cost of lying, in that lying about performance over the socially expected level generates an additional cost than lying below it. The corollary of the model is that,
fixing its size, a lie that implies one is exceptional is costlier than a lie that imply one is average. We test the basic assumptions of the model in two separate real-effort experiments. The results are supportive of the model. Shifting an expectation level of expertise on the basis of social information leads to significant increases in dishonesty. Similarly, generating expertise via verifiable individual characteristics also leads to significant increases in dishonesty. In a second experiment, subjects self-report higher values in a quiz for questions in a salient domain of expertise than for non-expert domains and compared to like subjects graded responses.