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.
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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:
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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)
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