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Somebody may scold you! A dictator experiment

Listed author(s):
  • Festré, Agnès
  • Garrouste, Pierre

In this contribution, we investigate the effects of observation-only and observation with feedback from a third-party in a one-shot dictator game (DG). In addition to a baseline condition (DG), a third-party anonymous subject was introduced who either silently observed or observed and got to give feedback by choosing one of seven messages consisting of varying degree of (dis)satisfaction. We found that observation coupled with feedback increased significantly dictators’ propositions, while no significant effect is found for observation-only. We conclude that regard by others matters only if it linked to social factors such as communication. This complements the literature arguing that altruistic behavior is instrumental in serving other selfish (or non-purely altruistic) ends such as self-reputation or social approval. This experiment also contributes to the growing literature that aims at decreasing the artificiality of dictator game designs by increasing their practicability and external validity.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167487014000774
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 45 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 141-153

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:45:y:2014:i:c:p:141-153
DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2014.09.005
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

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