Effects of Anonymity on Deception

Jonathan Conrady and Scott Meek, Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina Upstate, 800 University Way Spartanburg, SC 29303.

The current study attempted to explore if promise of a monetary reward would create organic deceptive behavior in participants, and whether anonymity further influences deceptive behavior. Forty-eight participants individually engaged in a competitive assessment via E-Prime 3.0, believing that an opponent (confederate) is competing against them to achieve a faster completion time to win a $10 Amazon gift card. Subjects were randomly assigned to either an anonymous (picture or name of confederate is not shown to participant) condition or a non-anonymous (picture and name of confederate is shown; participants believe that the confederate is aware of their name as well) condition. Following the assessment, participants were initially shown to be slower than the opponent. They were then shown an error screen followed by the initial results screen being presented again but with the relevant completion times switched. Participants were given the option to agree to a new, faster time (lie to win) or disagree (remain honest but lose the monetary reward). Response time (RT) was recorded during the decision-making process. A significant effect was found on choice of deception, in that, monetary reward increased choice of deception across all conditions. No observable effect was found regarding response time. Finally, a trend towards non-anonymity appeared, however, no significant effect of anonymity was found. The current paradigm was successful in creating organic deceptive behavior; however, anonymity did not significantly impact deceptive behavior. 

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Jonathan Conrady

Institution: University of South Carolina Upstate

Type: Poster

Subject: Psychology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 11
Date/Time: Wed 3:00pm-4:00pm
Session Number: 7054