fbpx Signing at the Beginning Versus at the End Does Not Decrease Dishonesty | Harvard Kennedy School

HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, HBS


In 2012, five of the current authors published a paper in PNAS showing that people are more honest when they are asked to sign a veracity statement at the beginning instead of at the end of a tax or insurance audit form. In a recent investigation, across five related experiments we failed to find an effect of signing at the beginning on dishonesty. Following up on these studies, we conducted one preregistered, high-powered direct replication of experiment 1 of the PNAS paper, in which we failed to replicate the original result. The current paper updates the scientific record by showing that signing at the beginning is unlikely to be a simple solution for increasing honest reporting.


Kristal, Ariella S., Ashley V. Whillans, Max H. Bazerman, Francesca Gino, Lisa L. Shu, Nina Mazar, and Dan Ariely. "Signing at the Beginning Versus at the End Does Not Decrease Dishonesty." Signing at the beginning versus at the end does not decrease dishonesty 117.3 (March 2020): 7103-7107.