IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/jdm/journl/v10y2015i5p442-455.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Facing expectations: Those that we prefer to fulfil and those that we disregard

Author

Listed:
  • Christophe Heintz
  • Jérémy Celse
  • Francesca Giardini
  • Sylvain Max

Abstract

We argue that people choosing prosocial distribution of goods (e.g., in dictator games) make this choice because they do not want to disappoint their partner rather than because of a direct preference for the chosen prosocial distribution. The chosen distribution is a means to fulfil one's partner's expectations. We review the economic experiments that corroborate this hypothesis and the experiments that deny that beliefs about others' expectations motivate prosocial choice. We then formulate hypotheses about what types of expectation motivate someone to do what is expected: these are justifiable hopeful expectations that are clearly about his own choices. We experimentally investigate how people modulate their prosociality when they face low or unreasonably high expectations. In a version of a dictator game, we provide dictators with the opportunity to modulate their transfer as a function of their partner's expectations. We observe that a significant portion of the population is willing to fulfil their partner's expectation provided that this expectation expresses a reasonable hope. We conclude that people are averse to disappointing and we discuss what models of social preferences can account for the role of expectations in determining prosocial choice, with a special attention to models of guilt aversion and social esteem.

Suggested Citation

  • Christophe Heintz & Jérémy Celse & Francesca Giardini & Sylvain Max, 2015. "Facing expectations: Those that we prefer to fulfil and those that we disregard," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 10(5), pages 442-455, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:10:y:2015:i:5:p:442-455
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://journal.sjdm.org/15/15204/jdm15204.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://journal.sjdm.org/15/15204/jdm15204.html
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Charness, Gary & haruvy, Ernan & Sonsino, Doron, 2001. "Social Distance and Reciprocity: The Internet vs. the Laboratory," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3dt073wb, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    2. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 817-869.
    3. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2011. "The strategy versus the direct-response method: a first survey of experimental comparisons," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 375-398, September.
    4. Alexander K. Koch & Hans-Theo Normann, 2008. "Giving in Dictator Games: Regard for Others or Regard by Others?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 223-231, July.
    5. Vranceanu, Radu & Sutan, Angela & Dubart, Delphine, 2012. "Trust and financial trades: Lessons from an investment game where reciprocators can hide behind probabilities," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 72-78.
    6. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
    7. Ockenfels, Axel & Werner, Peter, 2012. "‘Hiding behind a small cake’ in a newspaper dictator game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 82-85.
    8. John A. List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 482-493.
    9. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus & Tjøtta, Sigve & Torsvik, Gaute, 2010. "Testing guilt aversion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 95-107, January.
    10. Broberg, Tomas & Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2007. "Is generosity involuntary?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 32-37, January.
    11. Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 544-555.
    12. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1652-1678.
    13. James Andreoni & B. Douglas Bernheim, 2009. "Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, pages 1607-1636.
    14. Henrich, Joseph & Boyd, Robert & Bowles, Samuel & Camerer, Colin & Fehr, Ernst & Gintis, Herbert (ed.), 2004. "Foundations of Human Sociality: Economic Experiments and Ethnographic Evidence from Fifteen Small-Scale Societies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199262052.
    15. Reuben, Ernesto & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2009. "Is mistrust self-fulfilling?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 89-91, August.
    16. Rankin, Frederick W., 2006. "Requests and social distance in dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-36, May.
    17. Andreoni, James & Rao, Justin M., 2011. "The power of asking: How communication affects selfishness, empathy, and altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 513-520.
    18. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
    19. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), pages 67-80.
    20. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1281-1302.
    21. Binmore, Ken, 2005. "Natural Justice," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195178111.
    22. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2007. "Guilt in Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 170-176.
    23. Christoph Vanberg, 2008. "Why Do People Keep Their Promises? An Experimental Test of Two Explanations -super-1," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1467-1480, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. András Molnár & Christophe Heintz, 2016. "Beliefs About People’s Prosociality Eliciting predictions in dictator games," CEU Working Papers 2016_1, Department of Economics, Central European University.
    2. repec:jdm:journl:v:12:y:2017:i:6:p:527-536 is not listed on IDEAS

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:10:y:2015:i:5:p:442-455. 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: (Jonathan Baron). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.