Do People Keep Socially Unverifiable Promises?
AbstractPrevious research has suggested that communication and especially promises increase cooperation in laboratory experiments. This has been taken as evidence for internal motivations such as guilt aversion or preference for promise keeping. The original goal of this paper was to examine promises under a double blind payoff procedure to test the alternative explanation that promise keeping was due to external influence and reputational concerns. We find no evidence that communication increases the overall level of cooperation in our double blind experiment. However, our results are due in part to the high level of cooperation that we observe, leading us to conduct additional single blind conditions. Ultimately, we find no evidence that communication or payoff procedures impact aggregate cooperation.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 11/39.
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand
Phone: 64 3 369 3123 (Administrator)
Fax: 64 3 364 2635
Web page: http://www.econ.canterbury.ac.nz
More information through EDIRC
Anonymity; experiment; promises; partnership; guilt aversion; psychological game theory; trust; lies; social distance; behavioral economics; hidden action;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-12-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2011-12-13 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2011-12-13 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2011-12-13 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2011-12-13 (Game Theory)
- NEP-SOC-2011-12-13 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus & Tjøtta, Sigve & Torsvik, Gaute, 2007.
"Testing Guilt Aversion,"
Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance
683, Stockholm School of Economics.
- James C. Cox & Cary A. Deck, 2005. "On the Nature of Reciprocal Motives," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 623-635, July.
- Barmettler, Franziska & Fehr, Ernst & Zehnder, Christian, 2011.
"Big Experimenter Is Watching You! Anonymity and Prosocial Behavior in the Laboratory,"
IZA Discussion Papers
5925, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Barmettler, Franziska & Fehr, Ernst & Zehnder, Christian, 2012. "Big experimenter is watching you! Anonymity and prosocial behavior in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 17-34.
- Franziska Barmettler & Ernst Fehr & Christian Zehnder, 2011. "Big experimenter is watching you! Anonymity and prosocial behavior in the laboratory," ECON - Working Papers 027, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
- Daniel Zizzo, 2010. "Experimenter demand effects in economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 75-98, March.
- Topi Miettinen, 2008.
"Contracts and Promises - An Approach to Pre-play Agreements,"
Jena Economic Research Papers
2008-088, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
- Miettinen, Topi, 2008. "Contracts and Promises - An Approach to Pre-play Agreements," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 707, Stockholm School of Economics.
- Matthias Sutter, 2009.
"Deception Through Telling the Truth?! Experimental Evidence From Individuals and Teams,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 47-60, 01.
- Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Deception through telling the truth?! Experimental evidence from individuals and teams," Working Papers 2007-26, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
- Christoph Vanberg, 2008. "Why Do People Keep Their Promises? An Experimental Test of Two Explanations -super-1," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1467-1480, November.
- Maroš Servátka & Steven Tucker & Radovan Vadovič, 2011.
"Building Trust—One Gift at a Time,"
MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(4), pages 412-433, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Albert Yee).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.