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Individual and Developmental Differences in the Relationship of Preferences and Theory of Mind

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  • Kristina Leipold
  • Nora C. Vetter
  • Marcus Dittrich
  • Marco Lehmann-Waffenschmidt
  • Matthias Kliegel

Abstract

Theory of mind and individual preferences are important determinants in social decision making. The current study examined in a large sample whether being a cooperative preference type is related with better theory of mind skills. Furthermore, by testing adolescents and adults, we examined the impact of age on this relation. Theory of mind is measured in a Public Goods Game. Results indicate that the cooperative type predicted other players. preference types more accurately in the first round of the Public Goods Game. Regarding age differences, cooperative adults estimated the behavior of players of the same type better than cooperative adolescents. Adolescents show lower cooperation levels and a slower adaption of behavior than adults indicating ongoing development of theory of mind in adolescence.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4053.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4053

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Related research

Keywords: theory of mind; social preferences; cooperative behavior; public goods game;

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References

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  1. John O. Ledyard, 1994. "Public Goods: A Survey of Experimental Research," Public Economics 9405003, EconWPA, revised 22 May 1994.
  2. Ohtsubo, Yohsuke & Rapoport, Amnon, 2006. "Depth of reasoning in strategic form games," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 31-47, February.
  3. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Good Experiments," Discussion Papers 2009-04, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  4. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Sutter, Matthias, 2007. "Outcomes versus intentions: On the nature of fair behavior and its development with age," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 69-78, January.
  7. Fehr, Ernst & Singer, Tania, 2005. "The Neuroconomics of Mind Reading and Empathy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5128, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Tibor Neugebauer & Javier Perote & Ulrich Schmidt & Malte Loos, 2005. "Selfish-biased conditional cooperation: On the decline of contributions in repeated public goods experiments," Experimental 0503009, EconWPA.
  9. Sally, David & Hill, Elisabeth, 2006. "The development of interpersonal strategy: Autism, theory-of-mind, cooperation and fairness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 73-97, February.
  10. Fan, Chinn-Ping, 2000. "Teaching children cooperation -- An application of experimental game theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 191-209, March.
  11. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  12. Simon Gächter & Christian Thöni, 2005. "Social Learning and Voluntary Cooperation Among Like-Minded People," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 303-314, 04/05.
  13. Offerman, Theo & Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur, 1996. "Value Orientations, Expectations and Voluntary Contributions in Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 817-45, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Edward J Cartwright & Denise Lovett, 2013. "Leadership and conditional cooperation in public good games: What difference does the game make?," Studies in Economics 1324, Department of Economics, University of Kent.

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