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Giving or Taking: The Role of Dispositional Power Motivation and Positive Affect in Profit Maximization?

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Author Info

  • Markus Quirin

    ()
    (University of Osnabrueck)

  • Martin Beckenkamp

    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)

  • Julius Kuhl

    (University of Osnabrueck)

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    Abstract

    Socio-economic decisions are commonly explained by rational cost vs. benefit considerations, whereas person variables have not usually been considered. The present study aims at investigating the degree to which dispositional power motivation and affective states predict socio-economic decisions. The power motive was assessed both indirectly and directly using a TAT-like picture test and a power motive self-report, respectively. After nine months, 62 students completed an affect rating and performed on a money allocation task (Social Values Questionnaire). We hypothesized and confirmed that dispositional power should be associated with a tendency to maximize one’s profit but to care less about another party’s profit. Additionally, positive affect showed effects in the same direction. The results are discussed with respect to a motivational approach explaining socio-economic behaviour.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2008_15.

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    Length: 25 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2008_15

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    Related research

    Keywords: economic decision-making; rational choice theory; personality; implicit power motive; positive affect; operant motive test;

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    1. Ernesto Reuben & Frans van Winden, 2006. "Reciprocity and Emotions when Reciprocators Know each other," CESifo Working Paper Series 1674, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Engelmann,Dirk & Strobel,Martin, 2002. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," Research Memorandum 015, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. John A. List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 482-493.
    4. McCabe, Kevin A. & Rigdon, Mary L. & Smith, Vernon L., 2003. "Positive reciprocity and intentions in trust games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 267-275, October.
    5. Joseph Henrich & Robert Boyd & Samuel Bowles & Colin Camerer & Ernst Fehr & Herbert Gintis & Richard McElreath & Michael Alvard & Abigail Barr & Jean Ensminger & Kim Hill & Francisco Gil-White & Micha, 2001. "Economic Man in Cross-Cultural Perspective: Behavioral Experiments in Fifteen Small-Scale Societies," Working Papers, Santa Fe Institute 01-11-063, Santa Fe Institute.
    6. Brosig, Jeannette, 2002. "Identifying cooperative behavior: some experimental results in a prisoner's dilemma game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 275-290, March.
    7. Bechara, Antoine & Damasio, Antonio R., 2005. "The somatic marker hypothesis: A neural theory of economic decision," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 336-372, August.
    8. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
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