Digital signatures: a tool to prevent and predict dishonesty?

Luka Koning*, Marianne Junger, Joris van Hoof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)


Dishonesty is prevalent and causes great damage to society. On an individual level, besides reaping rewards, it also carries a psychological cost for those who engage in it. This principle is used to make people more honest with behavioral interventions, one of them being the well-known ‘signature nudge’. Digital transition in society has however led to changes in the way people sign, which may affect the effectiveness of this nudge. In two experiments, the current study investigates the relationship between digital signatures and honesty, building on previous research by examining novel signature types, the moderating role of personal characteristics, effect decay, and the predicting value of digital signature characteristics. Results show no effect of any signature intervention and no unilateral relation between digital signature characteristics and subsequent behavior. These findings contrast with earlier research and cast doubt on the use of signature interventions as a tool to prevent or predict dishonest behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-285
Number of pages29
JournalMind and Society
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Morality
  • Nudging
  • Signature
  • Dishonesty


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