Do I really want to know? A cognitive dissonance-based explanation of other-regarding behavior
AbstractWe investigate to what extent genuine social preferences can explain observed other-regarding behavior. In a dictator game variant subjects can choose whether to learn about the consequences of their choice for the receiver. We find that a majority of subjects showing other-regarding behavior when the payoffs of the receiver are known, choose to ignore these consequences if possible. This behavior is inconsistent with preferences about outcomes. Other-regarding behavior may also be explained by avoiding cognitive dissonance as in Konow (2000). Our experiment's choice data is in line with this approach. In addition, we successfully relate individual behavior to proxies for cognitive dissonance.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2010-077.
Date of creation: 11 Nov 2010
Date of revision:
social preferences; other-regarding behavior; experiments; social dilemma; cognitive dissonance;
Other versions of this item:
- Astrid Matthey & Tobias Regner, 2011. "Do I Really Want to Know? A Cognitive Dissonance-Based Explanation of Other-Regarding Behavior," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(1), pages 114-135, February.
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-11-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2010-11-20 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2010-11-20 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2010-11-20 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-NEU-2010-11-20 (Neuroeconomics)
- NEP-UPT-2010-11-20 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
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