Handedness predicts Social Preferences: Evidence connecting the Lab to the Field
AbstractIt is now generally accepted that some people are more altruistic, more trusting, or more reciprocal than others, but it is still unclear whether these differences are innate or a consequence of nurture. We analyse the correlation between handedness and social preferences in the lab and find that left-handed men are significantly more generous when recipients have the possibility to reciprocate and exhibit stronger positive reciprocity themselves. Left-handed women are significantly less altruistic. We test the external validity of these findings by connecting them to large-scale survey data from the Netherlands and the US covering altruistic behaviour and reciprocity outside the lab. The results largely carry over. We argue that our findings demonstrate that social preferences are at least partially determined by nature and help to shed light on their neural origins.
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 Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 10-119/3.
Date of creation: 30 Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl
social preferences; handedness; external validity of lab experiments;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D87 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Neuroeconomics
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-12-11 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2010-12-11 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2010-12-11 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2010-12-11 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2010-12-11 (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.:
- Roth, Alvin E. & Vesna Prasnikar & Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara & Shmuel Zamir, 1991.
"Bargaining and Market Behavior in Jerusalem, Ljubljana, Pittsburgh, and Tokyo: An Experimental Study,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1068-95, December.
- Alvin E. Roth & V. Prasnikar & M. Okuno-Fujiwara & S. Zamir, 1998. "Bargaining and market behavior in Jerusalem, Liubljana, Pittsburgh and Tokyo: an experimental study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 344, David K. Levine.
- David, Cesarini & Dawes, Christopher T. & Johannesson, Magnus & Lichtenstein, Paul & Wallace, Björn, 2007.
"Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk-Taking,"
Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance
679, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 12 Jan 2009.
- David Cesarini & Christopher T. Dawes & Magnus Johannesson & Paul Lichtenstein & Björn Wallace, 2009. "Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk Taking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 809-842, May.
- Bohnet, Iris & Croson, Rachel, 2004. "Trust and trustworthiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 443-445, December.
- Christopher S. Ruebeck & Joseph E. Harrington, Jr & Robert Moffitt, 1997.
"Handedness and Earnings,"
Economics Working Paper Archive
533, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Jun 2004.
- Kevin Denny & Vincent O'Sullivan, 2006.
"The economic consequences of being left-handed: some sinister results,"
IFS Working Papers
W06/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Kevin Denny & Vincent O’ Sullivan, 2007. "The Economic Consequences of Being Left-Handed: Some Sinister Results," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
- Kevin Denny & Vincent O'Sullivan, 2004. "The Economic Consequences of being Left-handed - Some Sinister Results," Working Papers 200422, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
- Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
- Hessel Oosterbeek & Randolph Sloof & Gijs van de Kuilen, 2004.
"Cultural Differences in Ultimatum Game Experiments: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis,"
Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 171-188, 06.
- Hessel Oosterbeek & Randolph Sloof & Gijs van de Kuilen, 2004. "Cultural differences in ultimatum game experiments: Evidence from a meta-analysis," Experimental 0401003, EconWPA.
- Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
- Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
- Nava Ashraf & Iris Bohnet & Nikita Piankov, 2006. "Decomposing trust and trustworthiness," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 193-208, September.
- Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
- Zak, Paul J. & Stanton, Angela A. & Ahmadi, Sheila, 2007. "Oxytocin Increases Generosity in Humans," MPRA Paper 5650, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Joseph Henrich, 2001.
"In Search of Homo Economicus: Behavioral Experiments in 15 Small-Scale Societies,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 73-78, May.
- Ernst Fehr & Joseph Henrich & Robert Boyd, 2003. "In Search of Homo Economicus: Behavioral Experiments in 15 Small- Scale Societies," Microeconomics 0305009, EconWPA.
- Johnston, David W. & Shah, Manisha & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Handedness, Time Use and Early Childhood Development," IZA Discussion Papers 2752, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Buser, Thomas, 2012.
"Digit ratios, the menstrual cycle and social preferences,"
Games and Economic Behavior,
Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 457-470.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Antoine Maartens (+31 626 - 160 892)).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.