Dark user interface, dark behavior? The effect of ‘dark mode’ on honesty

Luka Koning*, Marianne Junger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Situational factors affect human behavior, among which dishonesty. Previous studies linked darkness to an increase in immoral behavior. Simultaneously, ‘dark mode’ is increasingly offered in software. Accordingly it is important to investigate the moral behavioral effects of dark mode. In a high-powered, pre-registered, and economically incentivized experiment, users of ‘dark’ and ‘light’ user interfaces were compared on honesty. Results showed no general effect of dark mode on honesty. However, dark mode promoted honesty in users that were awake for a longer period of time. As such, implementation of dark mode is safe and may even be encouraged.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100107
JournalComputers in human behavior reports
Early online date10 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


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