The effects of competition on the nature of cheating behavior

Mary L. Rigdon, Alexander P. D'Esterre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Competition among individuals comes in a variety of forms: for mates, for resources, and for prestige and recognition. Such competitive pressure can lead individuals to engage in unethical behavior in an effort to get ahead. There are several forms of cheating in which individuals may engage to improve their own outcome: they may lie about their own performance in a task and they may lie about others' performance in a task. Our research is the first to examine how competition affects each of these two types of cheating behavior. We find that individuals are much more willing to cheat by lying about themselves than they are willing to sabotage another when under competitive pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1012-1024
Number of pages13
JournalSouthern Economic Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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