People frequently engage in dishonest behavior. Yet, they do so only to a limited extent, often forgoing potential profits. In the past few decades, the dominant psychological account explaining people's “limited dishonesty” characterized this behavior as driven by a desire to preserve a positive image of the self. Recently, a new account has been put forward, based on social considerations. This social image account claims that limited dishonesty is driven by a desire to be viewed positively by others. Here we review empirical findings from psychology and behavioral economics on the role of social image in dishonest behavior. We conclude by suggesting that both self-image and social image are at play.
- Dishonest behavior
- Social image
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