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 journalArticle

Abstract

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
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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