Consumers can tell lies to get rewards

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 16, 2012 08:10 hrs

Sydney, March 16 (IANS) Consumers who resort to lies during a service encounter are more satisfied than truth tellers when their lying fetches them rewards.

"Although we might expect that a positive outcome would be 'tainted' for liars as they would feel guilty about their actions, liars are significantly more satisfied than truth tellers," said Christina I. Anthony and Elizabeth Cowley from The University of Sydney, who co-authored the study.

They conducted a series of lab experiments where participants either told the truth or lied during conversations with service providers in order to pursue a material reward, reports the Journal of Consumer Research.

For example, in one experiment, participants responded to a number of questions that resulted in their ineligibility for a prize. The participants knew that they were ineligible, but had a chance to lie to the study administrator in order to acquire the prize, according to a Sydney statement.

The results showed that liars reported more extreme evaluations of the outcomes than truth tellers. "Liars were more satisfied than truth tellers following a favourable outcome, and more dissatisfied than truth tellers following an unfavourable outcome," the authors explained.

The authors found similar results when participants negotiated with a service provider and a positive outcome was only achievable by lying, and when they requested a refund for a product that fell outside the terms of the refund policy.

More from Sify: