Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures

Event Title

Society for Judgment and Decision Making: The 2019 40th Annual Conference

Event Location

Montréal, Québec, Canada

Document Type


Presentation Date


Date Range

2019-11-15 to 2019-11-18


Across six studies (N = 3348), we find that people prefer targets who make absolute proclamations (i.e. "It is never okay for people to lie" ) over targets who make ambiguous proclamations ("It is sometimes okay for people to lie" ), even when both targets tell equivalent lies. Preferences for absolutism stem from the belief that moral proclamations send a true signal about moral character--they are not cheap talk. Therefore, absolute proclamations signal moral character, despite also signaling hypocrisy. This research sheds light on the consequences of absolute proclamations and identifies circumstances in which hypocrisy is preferred over consistency.

Included in

Psychology Commons