A field experiment examining lying aversion

Last registered on May 30, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

A field experiment examining lying aversion
Initial registration date
May 30, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
May 30, 2022, 8:08 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


Primary Investigator

University of Exeter

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This field experiment is designed to examine 1) dishonesty in employment contracts, 2) how dishonesty and honesty can be influenced through subtle cues. This is done using a natural field experiment.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Drouvelis, Michalis and Graeme Pearce. 2022. "A field experiment examining lying aversion." AEA RCT Registry. May 30. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9512-1.0
Experimental Details


We are hiring 180 individuals to conduct a task. The task is to post an order form to a firm, along with £5 in cash, in order to obtain an item. The individuals we are hiring do not know that we, the researchers, own the firm they are sending the money to. The money is to be sent to a PO Box account, so that the owner of the firm is completely anonymous and unknown to the individuals.

The individuals are required to 1) report to us when they have sent the money, 2) report to us if they receive the item or not.

As we control the firm and PO BOx, we are able to observe if they lie or not.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Whether they report sending the money or not.

Whether they report receiving the item or not.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
I do not wish this to be public until it is over.
Experimental Design Details
There are two interventions, along with a control in which they are told nothing.

1. We tell subjects that, `We hypothesise that they will not receive the item.' This is a true statement - conditional on being told this statement, we do not believe that they will receive the item.

2. We tell subjects that, `We hypothesise that they will receive the item.' This is a true statement - conditional on being told this statement, we do believe that they will receive the item.
Randomization Method
Randomise subjects by die roll.
Randomization Unit
Individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Inidividuals, 180
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
~60 per treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We anticipate that around 10% of people will report truthfully in the Control, and 30% in treatment 1, and 0% in treatment 2. We have power of 80% to detect these effect sizes using a Fisher's exact test.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Exeter
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials