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Hurting hurts more than Helping helps: The Role of the Self-serving Bias

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  • Theo Offerman

    ()
    (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

This paper investigates an implication of the self-serving bias for reciprocalresponses. It is hypothesized that negative intentionality matters more thanpositive intentionality for reciprocating individuals with a self-servingattributional style. Experimental evidence obtained in the hot response gamesupports this prediction. Subjects are 67% more likely to reciprocate anintentional hurtful choice over an unintentional hurtful choice. Subjects areonly 25% more likely to reciprocate an intentional helpful choice over anunintentional helpful choice. The evidence on the intermediating role ofemotions is consistent with the explanation offered by the self-serving bias.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 99-018/1.

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Date of creation: 09 Mar 1999
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:19990018

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

Related research

Keywords: reciprocity; intentionality; self-serving bias; experiment;

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