Many official forms require that you sign your name at the bottom to signify that you have, to the best of your knowledge and ability, supplied honest information. But if you really want people to be honest, a recent study in PNAS suggests, it’s better to have them sign their names at the top of the form instead, before they fill in anything else.
Having people sign the top of a form made them less likely to cheat when reporting how much money they’d earned in a simple experiment, the researchers found, or when claiming travel expenses for their trip to the lab; people who signed in the usual spot at the bottom of the form were, statistically, just as likely to cheat as those who didn’t have to sign the form anywhere.
The best poker players are masters of deception. They’re good at manipulating the actions of other players, while masking their own so that their lies become undetectable. But even the best deceivers have tells, and Meghana Bhatt from Baylor University has found some fascinating ones. By scanning the brains and studying the behaviour of volunteers playing a simple bargaining game, she has found different patterns of brain activity that correspond to different playing styles. These “neural signatures” separate the players who are adept at strategic deception from those who play more straightforwardly.
For more about what Bhatt’s study revealed—and to figure out whether you’d be an “incrementalist,” a “conservative,” or a “strategist” kind of player—check out the rest of the post at DISCOVER blog Not Exactly Rocket Science.
Not Exactly Rocket Science: Will vs. Grace – are people honest because they resist temptation or because they don’t feel it?
80beats: A Hide-and-Seek-Playing Robot Learns How to Lie
80beats: Study: Damage to Brain’s Fear Center Makes People Riskier Gamblers
Image: flickr / Morberg