Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/107703
Authors: 
Meub, Lukas
Proeger, Till
Schneider, Tim
Bizer, Kilian
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Papers, Center for European Governance and Economic Development Research 233
Abstract: 
In an experiment on moral cleansing with an endogenously manipulated moral self-image, we examine the relevance of the addressee of an immoral action. The treatments differ such that cheating on a die roll reduces either the experimenter´s or another subject´s payoff. We find that cheating is highest and moral cleansing lowest when subjects cheat at the expense of the experimenter, while cheating is lowest and moral cleansing highest once cheating harms another subject. A subsequent measurement of subjects´ moral self-image supports our interpretation that the occurrence of moral cleansing crucially depends on the moral costs resulting from immoral actions directed at individuals in different roles. Our results can help to explain the different propensity to cheat and conduct moral cleansing when immoral actions harm either another person or the representatives of an organization.
Subjects: 
dictator game
laboratory experiment
lying
moral balancing
moral
cleansing
self-image
JEL: 
C91
D1
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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