Two Studies on the Interplay between Social Preferences and Individual Biological Features
AbstractBiological features and social preferences have been studied separately as factors influencing human strategic behaviour. We run two studies in order to explore the interplay between these two sets of factors. In the first study, we investigate to what extent social preferences may have some biological underpinnings. We use simple one-shot distribution experiments to attribute subjects one out of four types of social preferences: Self-interested (SI), Competitive (C), Inequality averse (IA) and Efficiency-seeking (ES). We then investigate whether these four groups display differences in their levels of facial Fluctuating Asymmetry (FA) and in proxies for exposure to testosterone during phoetal development and puberty. We observe that development-related biological features and social preferences are relatively independent. In the second study, we compare the relative weight of these two set of factors by studying how they affect subjectsâ€™ behaviour in the Ultimatum Game (UG). We find differences in offers made and rejection rates across the four social preference groups. The effect of social preferences is stronger than the effect of biological features even though the latter is significant. We also report a novel link between facial masculinity (a proxy for exposure to testosterone during puberty) and rejection rates in the UG. Our results suggest that biological features influence behaviour both directly and through their relation with the type of social preferences that individuals hold.
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 Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) in its series SIRE Discussion Papers with number 2013-46.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Testosterone; Ultimatum Game; Fluctuating Asymmetry; Facial masculinity; 2D:4D; Social preferences;
Other versions of this item:
- Santiago Sanchez-Pages (University of Barcelona, University of Edinburgh), 2013. "Two Studies on the Interplay between Social Preferences and Individual Biological Features," ESE Discussion Papers 218, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
- NEP-ALL-2013-12-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-EVO-2013-12-29 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2013-12-29 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-NEU-2013-12-29 (Neuroeconomics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gina Reddie).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.