IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action: Eliciting motives for trust and reciprocity by attitudinal and behavioural measures

Listed author(s):
  • Farina, Francesco
  • O'Higgins, Niall
  • Sbriglia, Patrizia

Two important primitives of social capital are the disposition to trust and to reciprocate manifested in social life. In this paper, attitudinal and behavioural evidence is used to investigate the nature of the motivations underlying behaviour in Trust and Dictator games. In doing so, we have three aims. First, to find out whether, and to what extent, answers to a questionnaire about attitudes towards trust and civicness predict subjects' behaviour. Second, to disentangle strategic from other-regarding motivations by comparing behaviour in Trust and Dictator Games. Third, to investigate to what extent a correspondence could be found between subjects' attitudinal 'type' and their behaviour in the two interactive experimental settings. The paper builds on previous work in the area and in particular finds that using surveys to distinguish between the behavioural responses of different attitudinal types-"Trusting" or "Prudent" on the one hand and "Trustworthy" or "Untrustworthy" on the other, allows us to dig deeper into the underlying motivations of the experimental subjects. The self-declared trusting tend to manifest trust by investing more in the risky interaction than the prudent, and the self-declared trustworthy are inclined to return more than the untrustworthy. Moreover, the self-reported trustworthy and untrustworthy tend to manifest positive or negative reciprocity, respectively. The evidence suggests that the former are moved by the intention to reward and the latter by the desire to punish a stingy Sender by returning an even smaller amount than received. This seems to confirm the "multiple self" view (Elster, 1986), whereby in the personality of each individual many components-possibly distant in terms of the motivating sentiments-are gathered together.

If 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.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090-9443(09)00039-8
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research in Economics.

Volume (Year): 63 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 253-265

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:reecon:v:63:y:2009:i:4:p:253-265
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622941

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as
in new window


  1. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2005. "Expressed preferences and behavior in experimental games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 151-169, November.
  2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. McCabe, Kevin A. & Rigdon, Mary L. & Smith, Vernon L., 2003. "Positive reciprocity and intentions in trust games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 267-275, October.
  5. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
  6. Ciriolo, Emanuele, 2007. "Inequity aversion and trustees' reciprocity in the trust game," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 1007-1024, December.
  7. Paola Sapienza & Anna Toldra‐Simats & Luigi Zingales, 2013. "Understanding Trust," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(12), pages 1313-1332, December.
  8. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  9. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  10. Emanuele Ciriolo, 2007. "Inequity aversion and trustees' reciprocity in the trust game," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/176651, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  11. Michael Bacharach & Gerardo A. Guerra, 2001. "Is Trust Self-Fulfilling? An Experimental Study," Economics Series Working Papers 76, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. Francesco Farina & Patrizia Sbriglia, 2008. "Conditional cooperation in a sequential move game," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 55(1), pages 149-165, April.
  13. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:reecon:v:63:y:2009:i:4:p:253-265. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.