(Dis)honesty in the face of uncertain gains or losses

Wolfgang Steinel, Kalina Valtcheva, Jörg Gross, Jérémy Celse, Sylvain Max, Shaul Shalvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We examine dishonest behavior in the face of potential uncertain gains and losses in three pre-studies (N = 150, N = 225, N = 188) and a main study (N = 240). Ample research has shown that people cheat when presented with the opportunity. We use a die-under-cup paradigm, in which participants could dishonestly report a private die roll and thereby increase the odds to obtain a desired outcome. Results showed that the framing of the uncertain situation mattered: Participants who lied to decrease the likelihood to experience a loss used major lies (i.e., reporting a ‘6’), while those who lied to increase the chance to achieve an equivalent gain used more modest lies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102487
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethical Decision-Making
  • Framing
  • Lying
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics


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