Trust and reciprocity behavior and behavioral forecasts: Individuals versus group-representatives
Individuals are often given the responsibility of making decisions on behalf of a group or an organization. However, little is known about preferences or behavior in such contexts. In an adapted trust game, I examine whether the perspectives and behavior of group-representatives differ from those of the same individuals in an analogous situation. Group-representatives are given the responsibility of unilaterally and privately making a decision on behalf of a three-person group. Results from both the main and the follow-up studies show that people trust less and reciprocate less as group-representatives, and thus demonstrate that the interindividual-intergroup discontinuity effect not only exists in group behavior but also in individual behavior of group-representatives. Moreover, results show that trusting behavior is driven by reciprocity expectations, while reciprocating behavior is not sensitive to the first mover's behavior, i.e., the level of trust experienced.
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