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Social framing effects: Preferences or beliefs?

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  • Ellingsen, Tore
  • Johannesson, Magnus
  • Mollerstrom, Johanna
  • Munkhammar, Sara

Abstract

In an otherwise neutrally described Prisonersʼ dilemma experiment, we document that behavior is more likely to be cooperative when the game is called the Community Game than when it is called the Stock Market Game. However, the difference vanishes when only one of the subjects is in control of her action. The social framing effect also vanishes when the game is played sequentially. These findings are inconsistent with the hypothesis that the Community label triggers a desire to cooperate, but consistent with the hypothesis that social frames are coordination devices. More generally, our evidence indicates that social frames enter peopleʼs beliefs rather than their preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus & Mollerstrom, Johanna & Munkhammar, Sara, 2012. "Social framing effects: Preferences or beliefs?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 117-130.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:76:y:2012:i:1:p:117-130
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2012.05.007
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Framing; Labels; Social preferences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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