More than outcomes: A cognitive dissonance-based explanation of other-regarding behavior
AbstractRecent research has cast some doubt on the general validity of outcome-based models of social preferences. We develop a model based on cognitive dissonance that focuses on the importance of self-image. An experiment (a dictator game variant) tests the model. First, we find that subjects whose choices involve two psychologically inconsistent cognitions indeed report higher levels of experienced conflict and take more time for their decisions (our proxies for cognitive dissonance). Second, we find support for the main model components. An individual's self-image, the sensitivity to cognitive dissonance, and expected behavior of others have a positive effect on other-regarding behavior.
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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 2011-024.
Date of creation: 27 May 2011
Date of revision:
social preferences; other-regarding behavior; self-image; experiments; cognitive dissonance; social norms; normative beliefs; expectations;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-06-04 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2011-06-04 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2011-06-04 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2011-06-04 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2011-06-04 (Game Theory)
- NEP-NEU-2011-06-04 (Neuroeconomics)
- NEP-SOC-2011-06-04 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
- NEP-UPT-2011-06-04 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
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