Investigating the Impact of Social Commitment on Dishonest Behavior


Social commitment (i.e., feeling committed to other individuals or groups) influences our behavior in various ways. Recent studies suggest that social commitment can increase dishonest behavior, while feeling commitment to social norms might decrease it. However, recent meta-investigations highlight severe heterogeneity of these effects. Additionally, research is scarce about what happens if individuals feel committed to individuals and social norms at the same time. The current pre-registered project, investigated the influence of social commitment on dishonest behavior by sampling 6,026 participants across three countries (the UK, the US, and Mexico) and various methodologies. We found no evidence that social commitment to other individuals increased dishonesty (OR =1.05 [.95, 1.17]), and preliminary evidence suggesting that commitment to social norms might decrease dishonesty (OR =.81 [.73, .90]). In addition, commitment to social norms was less effective if participants were committed to a partner at the same time (OR =.93 [.83, 1.03]).