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But, in another condition, what we do is we ask people to shred the piece of paper, and when they come to us not to say “Mr.
Experimenter, I solved X problems, give me X tokens”.
Now, people look into our eyes and lie for pieces of plastic and not for money and what we find was the people basically doubled their cheating.
So, of course, if you work in a bank and your bank people are perfectly honest, and then you have other banks where people try all the funny procedures and they don't have Chinese walls and they sell stocks that are not good to their clients to take them off of their hands and so on.
All of a sudden if you're honest, you would do well by your clients, but you would be less wealthy.
In particular, one of the things we find is being mentally exhausted gets people to cheat more, and here is the finding: There is something called depletion.
Depletion is the idea that when we exercise self control, when we try to resist temptation, we try to resist a cake and a cookie and Facebook and Youtube and saying something nasty to someone and so on.So, there's lots of examples like this when individuals are misbehaving dishonestly in the short-term and not thinking about the long-term and companies are not sufficiently successful in regulating this behavior.In terms of being honest and it backfiring, it depends on what you mean by “backfiring”.Based on your research, what motivates people to behave dishonestly?What we basically find is that people are a nice combination of economic incentives and psychological incentives.So, often we think about people as agent, so we decide and we act, and we act on our preferences and we are kind of executing our own internal state, but the reality is that the decisions people often make are best described by the environment in which they are placed.When we place people in some environments they are able to cheat to a higher degree and when they are placed in a different environment, that same person with the same mindset ends up cheating to a much lower degree. One of them has to do with the degree to which we can justify our dishonesty and, in particular, the distance of the dishonest act from money. Dan is also a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University.In this interview, he talks about why people lie in some situations but not others, why students cheat on tests when they know they could suffer later in life, and more.The person is hungry, is tired, is exhausted and there is some truth to that.There is some changes that happen to us internally that make us cheat more or less.