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Too smart to be selfish? Measures of intelligence, social preferences, and consistency

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  • Chen, Chia-Ching
  • Chiu, I-Ming
  • Smith, John
  • Yamada, Tetsuji

Abstract

Although there is an increasing interest in examining the relationship between cognitive ability and economic behavior, less is known about the relationship between cognitive ability and social preferences. We investigate the relationship between strongly incentivized measures of intelligence and measures of social preferences. We have data on a series of small-stakes dictator-type decisions, known as Social Value Orientation (SVO), in addition to choices in a larger-stakes dictator game. We also have access to the grade point averages (GPA) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) outcomes of our subjects. We find that subjects who perform better on the math portion of the SAT are more generous in both the dictator game and the SVO measure. By contrast we find that subjects with a higher GPA are more selfish in the dictator game and more generous according to the SVO. We also find that the consistency of the subjects is related to GPA but we do not find evidence that it is related to either portion of the SAT.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 34438.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:34438

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Keywords: dictator game; Social Value Orientation; altruism; cognitive ability;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Allred, Sarah & Duffy, Sean & Smith, John, 2013. "Cognitive Load and Strategic Sophistication," MPRA Paper 47997, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Thorsten Chmura & Christoph Engel & Markus Englerth, 2013. "Selfishness As a Potential Cause of Crime. A Prison Experiment," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_05, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  3. Duffy, Sean & Smith, John, 2011. "Cognitive load in the multi-player prisoner's dilemma game," MPRA Paper 30856, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Duffy, Sean & Smith, John, 2012. "Cognitive load in the multi-player prisoner's dilemma game: Are there brains in games?," MPRA Paper 38825, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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