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Sincere Giving and Shame in a Dictator Game

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  • Emmanuel PETIT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113)
  • Anna TCHERKASSOF (Laboratoire Interuniversitaire de Psychologie. Personnalité, Cognition et Changement Social (LIP/PC2S), Université Pierre Mendès France)
  • Xavier GASSMANN (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Université de Rennes)

Abstract

Our experiment aims at examining the impact of induced shame on altruism in a dictator game context with exit option. Using an Internet design, we collect a large battery of psychological and demographic variables which enables us to investigate dispositional and social characteristics likely to influence subjects’ altruistic behaviour. Using the emotional induction technique, we induce either shameful or neutral emotions to the participants before they play the dictator game. We then measure the evaluation that subjects give of their own emotions, and subsequently observe their altruistic behaviour. We find that imagined shame-induction is able to increase significantly altruistic behaviour. We observe that forty-one percent of participants are willing to choose to exit the game and do not observe any difference in exiting between the two emotion conditions. Our data show that women are significantly more eager to take the exit option than males. Economics students are, to a large extent, more prone to adopt greedy choices patterns than other social sciences students.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée in its series Cahiers du GREThA with number 2012-25.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:grt:wpegrt:2012-25

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Keywords: Shame; Induction procedure; Altruism; Internet experiment; Gender differences;

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