Temporary, inconsistent, and null effects of a moral story and instruction on honesty

Jessica A. Sauter, Corey S. Stocco, Kevin C. Luczynski, Adam D. Moline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Lying during childhood is a common concern for caregivers. Lee et al. (2014) showed that a moral story and instruction implying reinforcers for honesty produced statistically significant improvements in children admitting a transgression. We evaluated the influence of this moral story and instruction on the consistency of honest reports when reinforcement favored lying in the context of reporting answers to math problems. The moral story and instruction produced temporary, inconsistent, or null effects across participants. However, reinforcing accurate reports produced consistent improvements in telling the truth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-146
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • correspondence training
  • honesty
  • lying
  • morality
  • rule-governed behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Temporary, inconsistent, and null effects of a moral story and instruction on honesty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this