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Testosterone, Honesty, and Status

Wibral, Matthias
Falk, Armin
Ortner, Georgia
Dohmen, Thomas
Weber, Bernd
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2010: Ökonomie der Familie - Session: Trust, Honesty, and Reputation: Neuroeconomic Evidence C5-V2
Testosterone has been linked to status-related behaviors in animals. A similar link has been proposed for humans, but most evidence is correlative. We test this link in a double-blind experiment in which subjects either receive testosterone or a placebo. Subjects roll a die in private and report the outcome. Payment increases with self-reported outcome. The experimenter only observes the self-reported outcome. Therefore subjects have an incentive to misreport. However, reporting a high number also threatens status, status concerned individuals may therefore report more honestly. We observe cheating in both groups, but placebo subjects report higher numbers than their testosterone counterparts.
Document Type: 
Conference Paper

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