A must lie situation – avoiding giving negative feedback

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Games and Economic Behavior, ISSN: 0899-8256, Vol: 102, Page: 445-454

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Uri Gneezy; Christina Gravert; Silvia Saccardo; Franziska Tausch
Elsevier BV
Economics, Econometrics and Finance
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article description
We examine under what conditions people provide accurate feedback to others. We use feedback regarding attractiveness, a trait people care about, and for which objective information is hard to obtain. Our results show that people avoid giving accurate face-to-face feedback to less attractive individuals, even if lying in this context comes at a monetary cost to both the person who gives the feedback and the receiver. A substantial increase of these costs does not increase the accuracy of feedback. However, when feedback is provided anonymously, the aversion to giving negative feedback is reduced.