Research Topic

Dishonest behavior: From theory to practice

About this Research Topic

The rapidly growing field of behavioral ethics shows that dishonest acts are highly prevalent in all walks of life, from corruption among politicians through flagrant cases of doping in sports, to everyday slips and misdemeanors of ordinary people who nevertheless perceive themselves as highly moral. For ...

The rapidly growing field of behavioral ethics shows that dishonest acts are highly prevalent in all walks of life, from corruption among politicians through flagrant cases of doping in sports, to everyday slips and misdemeanors of ordinary people who nevertheless perceive themselves as highly moral. For instance, managers exaggerate travel expenses, consumers engage in wardrobing, citizens evade taxes or download illegal music. When considered cumulatively, these seemingly innocuous and ordinary unethical behaviors cause considerable societal damage and add up to billions of dollars annually.


Research in behavioral ethics has made tremendous advances in characterizing many contextual and social factors that promote or hinder dishonesty. These findings have prompted the development of interventions to curb dishonesty and to help individuals become more committed to ethical standards. The goal of the Research Topic is to continue along these lines and shift research in behavioral ethics from a descriptive approach to a more prescriptive and applicable one, aimed at advancing our theoretical knowledge and designing and testing practical interventions to promote ethical conduct among individuals in their day to day lives.


To achieve this goal, this Research Topic will feature studies that test and advance current theory and deepen our understanding of the cognitive and physiological processes underlying dishonest behavior, discuss possible implications of findings in behavioral ethics research for real life situations, document dishonest behavior in the field and/or directly examines interventions to reduce it. We encourage submissions that fall broadly into one of the following areas, but submissions in related areas that include valuable discussions in these directions will also be considered:


• Current theory and theoretical advances in behavioral ethics
• The cognitive and physiological processes underlying cheating behavior
• Field experiments in behavioral ethics
• Practical interventions and remedies aimed at reducing dishonesty
• Insights in behavioral ethics and their implications for specific professional fields.
• Public policies and organizational tools to create more ethical environments.


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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