Research Topic

Economic Games, (Dis)honesty and Trust

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About this Research Topic

Over the last 70 years, economic games have increasingly become the main paradigm used by experimental economists, organization theorists and psychologists to study human actions and interaction in strategic contexts. They also provide a simplified and easy to interpret decision-making context for modelling ...

Over the last 70 years, economic games have increasingly become the main paradigm used by experimental economists, organization theorists and psychologists to study human actions and interaction in strategic contexts. They also provide a simplified and easy to interpret decision-making context for modelling interpersonal behavior and attitudes towards social norms and other-regarding preferences. This Research Topic collects original articles reporting research on the use of economic games as a paradigm for eliciting and modelling behavior and preferences which may entail trust and trustworthiness, (dis)honesty, corruption, (anti-) pro-social behavior and, in general, patterns of human interdependence which may enhance or hinder social efficiency.

It has been often argued that a society achieves better outcomes, if the individuals act in a way which, to some extent, accounts for the effects of their actions on the happiness of others. The lack of such pro-social considerations may lead people to exploit other’s trust, cooperativeness, generosity or even lack of attention. This, in its turn, may hinder positive attitudes, making them look like sources of vulnerability. The resulting chain of mistrust leads to socially inefficient outcomes. Several law-enforcement mechanisms and institutions require significant resources to be dedicated to the regulation, monitoring, certification and punishment systems aimed at restoring trust to the market and the society as a whole. The resulting situation is certainly better than the alternative of a total absence of trust, but it is strictly worse than the unregulated spontaneous emergence of trust in the presence of naturally occurring honest, trustworthy, and pro-social actions.

In this Research Topic, we aim at collecting papers from different methodological approaches to the determinants and consequences of trust, honesty, and pro-social behavior. Authors of papers addressing the aforementioned types of behavior are welcome to submit articles reporting research from all different points of view, including:
• Economic theory;
• Game theory;
• Agent-based simulations;
• Survey data and laboratory or field experiments.

An indicative list of game-theoretic paradigms used often to address these questions are the trust game, public good games, reporting honesty and corruption games, etc.

Using the Frontiers in Psychology classification, we welcome A-Type Articles, including indicatively, but not exclusively, Clinical Trial, Hypothesis & Theory, Methods, Original Research, Policy and Practice Reviews, Systematic Review and Registered Report.


Keywords: Behavioral Economics, Personality, Economic Psychology, Game, Trust, Reciprocity, Social Preferences


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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