Abstract 21:141-164

Wypler, Wojciech (2013) Operationalization of Dishonest Behavior in Psychological Experimentation. „Profilaktyka Społeczna i Resocjalizacja” 21: 141-164.



The paper discusses operational definition of dishonest behavior which has become widespread recently and which presupposes subject exposition to temptation. Subjects are asked to solve a difficult (or insoluble) task and while doing so they are tempted to take advantage of the opportunity established by the experimenter and cheat in order to get the award, usually of a financial nature. We highlight the benefits of this solution, namely the possibility to test a large group of subjects in a relatively short period of time and to control, to a large extent, the experimental situation. As for the flaws of the discussed operational definition, we mostly point to some methodological and ethical issues: in fact, subjects are exposed to frustration and experimenter-induced conditions, i.e. reward offered for cheating, propel their dishonesty. We also suggest our own operational definition of dishonest behavior, which seems to be free from identified flaws of the analyzed solution.



dishonest behavior, cheating, psychological experimentation