Endogenous Preferences and Conformity: Evidence From a Pilot Experiment
AbstractConformity behavior, i.e. the agreement between an individual's choices and the prevailing behavior of a reference group, is a commonly observed phenomenon. Though some types of social interactions may give raise to specific incentives to adopt either a majoritarian or a contrarian behavior, we want to investigate whether the same behavioral pattern emerges even when no economic motivator is present. To accomplish this task, we employ an experimental Vickrey median price auction designed to provide incentives to reveal individual preferences truthfully. Whereas we feed the control group with just the median price, we give out additional information on other players' bids for those in the treated groups. These informations are designed to provide hints at revising individual bids. Our main results point to a strong tendency of the individuals to adapt their behavior to those of the individuals which can be observed. Moreover, although a clear shaping effect (a regression toward the median price) does emerge for the control group, the provision of information about the actual behavior of a sample of the relevant group is able to minimize or neutralize the shaping effect. Specifically, we find that players adjust to a divergence between their bids and the average bid of a reference group by a factor of 47.4\%—87.3\%. These figures point to a relevant role for conformity in group behavior.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 48539.
Date of creation: 22 Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Endogenous preferences; shaping effect; social conformity; Vickrey auction;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Auctions
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-07-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2013-07-28 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-EVO-2013-07-28 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2013-07-28 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2013-07-28 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Klick, Jonathan & Parisi, Francesco, 2008. "Social networks, self-denial, and median preferences: Conformity as an evolutionary strategy," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1319-1327, August.
- Fabio Tufano, 2008.
"Are ‘True’ Preferences Revealed in Repeated Markets? An Experimental Demonstration of Context-dependent Valuations,"
2008-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
- Fabio Tufano, 2010. "Are ‘true’ preferences revealed in repeated markets? An experimental demonstration of context-dependent valuations," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 1-13, March.
- Fabio Tufano, 2008. "Are ‘True’ Preferences Revealed in Repeated Markets? An Experimental Demonstration of Context-dependent Valuations," Discussion Papers 2008-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
- Dan Ariely & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2003. ""Coherent Arbitrariness": Stable Demand Curves Without Stable Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 73-105, February.
- Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 1998. "Learning from the Behavior of Others: Conformity, Fads, and Informational Cascades," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 151-170, Summer.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
7656, David K. Levine.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- David J. Butler & Graham C. Loomes, 2007. "Imprecision as an Account of the Preference Reversal Phenomenon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 277-297, March.
- William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
- Graham Loomes & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2003.
"Do Anomalies Disappear in Repeated Markets?,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages C153-C166, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.