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More Than Outcomes: The Role of Self-Image in Other-Regarding Behavior

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  • Matthey, Astrid
  • Regner, Tobias

Abstract

We conduct a modified dictator game in order to analyze the role self-image concerns play in other-regarding behavior. While we generally follow Konow (2000), a cognitive dissonance-based model of other-regarding behavior in dictator games, we relax one of its assumptions as we allow for individual heterogeneity among individuals’ standards of behavior. Subjects’ self-image, their belief regarding the average socially appropriate behavior of others and our proxies for the cognitive dissonance costs are positively correlated with the dictator game choices.We also find that subjects whose choices involve two psychologically inconsistent cognitions indeed report higher levels of experienced conflict and take more time for their decisions (our proxies for cognitive dissonance).

Suggested Citation

  • Matthey, Astrid & Regner, Tobias, 2015. "More Than Outcomes: The Role of Self-Image in Other-Regarding Behavior," Review of Behavioral Economics, now publishers, vol. 2(4), pages 353-378, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:jnlrbe:105.00000038
    DOI: 10.1561/105.00000038
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    Cited by:

    1. Tobias Regner & Astrid Matthey, 2015. "Do reciprocators exploit or resist moral wiggle room? An experimental analysis," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-027, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. Tobias Regner, 2018. "Reciprocity under moral wiggle room: Is it a preference or a constraint?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(4), pages 779-792, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social preference; Other-regarding behavior; Self-image; Cognitive dissonance; Social norms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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