Behavioural Insights for Public Integrity

Harnessing the Human Factor to Counter Corruption

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At the core of integrity is a human choice. Behavioural research reveals two determinants of integrity: the internal dynamics of how individuals make moral decisions and how these decisions are shaped and influenced by other people. This report describes how behavioural insights can help make integrity and anti-corruption policies more effective and efficient. It includes concrete policy applications and provides guidance for policy makers on how to use behavioural insights in designing integrity and anti-corruption policies.

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Integrity in the context of social interactions

Moral choices are not taken in isolation. Human decisions are often driven by social motives such as loyalty, trust building, returning favours or helping someone out of a tricky situation. People take decisions in their own best interest, but they also care what others think or do. Social motives can work in favour of integrity, but they can also function as reasons for corrupt decisions. Understanding why humans as social decision makers are swayed by their own preferences, as well as those of others, can provide insights into why and how integrity policies work or fail.

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