Some 250 Berliners were randomly selected to take part in a game where they could win up to €6 ($8).None of that surprises me. I've known more than my share of dyed-in-the-wool European socialists, and very few of them displayed what I would consider ethical behavior, particularly in regards to those who might not be of the same political bent as they.
The game was simple enough. Each participant was asked to throw a die 40 times and record each roll on a piece of paper. A higher overall tally earned a bigger payoff. Before each roll, players had to commit themselves to write down the number that was on either the top or the bottom side of the die. However, they did not have to tell anyone which side they had chosen, which made it easy to cheat by rolling the die first and then pretending that they had selected the side with the highest number. If they picked the top and then rolled a two, for example, they would have an incentive to claim—falsely—that they had chosen the bottom, which would be a five.
Honest participants would be expected to roll ones, twos and threes as often as fours, fives and sixes. But that did not happen: the sheets handed in had a suspiciously large share of high numbers, suggesting many players had cheated.
The authors found that, on average, those who had East German roots cheated twice as much as those who had grown up in West Germany under capitalism.
All the same, when it comes to ethics, a capitalist upbringing appears to trump a socialist one.
That also brings up the question: Would they lie for political gain? From my experience, the answer is 'Yes'.