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Dishonest Behavior: The Impact of Prior Self-Regulatory Exertion and Personality


Tomer Gotlib, Florida Institute of Technology, School of Psychology, 150 W. University Boulevard, Melbourne, FL 32901-6975. E-mail:


The current study examined how prior self-regulatory exertion and the personality characteristics of self-control, integrity, and conscientiousness contribute to dishonest behavior. Participants completed measures of these 3 personality characteristics, followed by either a self-control typing task or a non-self-control version of the task. They were then told to complete a clerical task, for which they were compensated, until the end of the experiment session. Participants were left alone during this task, and had the opportunity to leave before the designated end time. Results indicated that participants who initially completed the self-control task were more likely to leave the experiment early than were participants who initially completed the non-self-control task. In addition, self-control and integrity were negatively associated with dishonest behavior.