The good, the bad and the ugly thing to do when sharing information: Revealing, concealing and lying depend on social motivation, distribution and importance of information
Research on information sharing in group decision-making has widely assumed a cooperative context and focused on the exchange of shared or unshared information in the hidden profile paradigm ([Stasser and Titus, 1985] and [Stasser and Titus, 1987]), neglecting the role of information importance. We argue that information sharing is a mixed-motive conflict setting that gives rise to motivated strategic behavior. We introduce a research paradigm that combines aspects of the traditional information sampling paradigm with aspects of a public good dilemma: the information pooling game. In three experiments, we show that information sharing is strategic behavior that depends on people's pro-social or pro-self motivation, and that people consider information sharedness and information importance when deciding whether to reveal, withhold, or falsify their private or public information. Pro-social individuals were consistently found to honestly reveal their private and important information, while selfish individuals strategically concealed or even lied about their private and important information.
Volume (Year): 113 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
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