Stage 1 registered report: How subtle linguistic cues prevent unethical behaviors

Wen Guo, Huanxu Liu, Jingwen Yang, Yuqi Mo, Can Zhong, Yuki Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Different ways of description can easily influence people’s evaluations and behaviors. A previous study by Bryan and colleagues suggested that subtle linguistic differences in ethical reminders can differentially prevent readers’ unethical behavior. The present study aims to replicate the previous finding in the Japanese context, additionally exploring the influence of unfamiliar instruction words that capture participants’ attention. In two experiments, which are planned to be conducted online, participants are asked to make 10 coin-tosses and report the number of “heads” results, indicating the amount of money that they can earn. We will manipulate instructions (“Don’t cheat” vs. “Don’t be a cheater” vs. baseline as a control) for each participant group, including nearly 270 participants (Experiment 1). Next, we will conduct an extended experiment with an additional task in which more attention is directed toward the text (Experiment 2). Through these registered experiments, we examine the credibility of the previous finding that type of instruction affects the occurrence of unethical behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1482
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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