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Cognitive control promotes either honesty or dishonesty, depending on one’s moral default - EEG - JoN

Cognitive control is crucially involved in making (dis)honest decisions. However, the precise nature of this role has been hotly debated. Is honesty an intuitive response or is willpower needed to override an intuitive inclination to cheat? A reconciliation of these conflicting views proposes that cognitive control enables dishonest participants to be honest, whereas it allows cheating for those who are generally honest. Thus, cognitive control does not promote (dis)honesty per se; it depends on one’s moral default. In the present study, we tested this proposal using EEG in humans (males & females) in combination with an external localizer task to mitigate the problem of reverse inference. Our analysis revealed that the neural signature evoked by cognitive control demands in the Stroop task can be used to estimate (dis)honest choices in an independent cheating task, providing converging evidence that cognitive control can indeed help honest participants to cheat, whereas it facilitates honesty for cheaters.

In this repository you can find the data and scripts used in the study. For detailed information please consult the README file.

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