Social Motives and Strategic Misrepresentation in Social Decision Making

  • Steinel W
  • De Dreu C
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In 4 experiments, the authors studied the influence of social motives on deception and strategic misrepresentation. In a newly developed information provision game, individuals faced a decision maker whose decision would affect both own and other's outcomes. By withholding information or by giving (in)accurate information about payoffs, participants could try to influence other's decision making. Less accurate and more inaccurate information was given when the decision maker was competitive rather than cooperative (Experiment 1), especially when participants had a prosocial rather than selfish value orientation (Experiments 3 and 4). Accurate information was withheld because of fear of exploitation and greed, and inaccurate information was given because of greed (Experiment 2). Finally, participants engaged in strategic misrepresentation that may trick competitive others into damaging their own and increasing the participant's outcomes.

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  • Wolfgang Steinel

  • Carsten K.W. De Dreu

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