4 years ago

Coercive and legitimate authority impact tax honesty: evidence from behavioral and ERP experiments.

Lamm C, Gangl K, Hofmann E, Kirchler E, Pfabigan DM
Cooperation in social systems such as tax honesty is of central importance in our modern societies. However, we know little about cognitive and neural processes driving decisions to evade or pay taxes. This study focuses on the impact of perceived tax authority and examines the mental chronometry mirrored in ERP data allowing a deeper understanding about why humans cooperate in tax systems. We experimentally manipulated coercive and legitimate authority and studied its impact on cooperation and underlying cognitive (experiment 1, 2) and neuronal (experiment 2) processes. Experiment 1 showed that in a condition of coercive authority, tax payments are lower, decisions are faster and participants report more rational reasoning and enforced compliance, however, less voluntary cooperation than in a condition of legitimate authority. Experiment 2 confirmed most results, but did not find a difference in payments or self-reported rational reasoning. Moreover, legitimate authority led to heightened cognitive control (expressed by increased MFN amplitudes) and disrupted attention processing (expressed by decreased P300 amplitudes) compared to coercive authority. To conclude, the neuronal data surprisingly revealed that legitimate authority may led to higher decision conflict and thus to higher cognitive demands in tax decisions than coercive authority.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28402477

DOI: PubMed:28402477

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.