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Antisocial Attitudes, Gender and Moral Judgments: An Experimental Study

Author

Listed:
  • Juergen Bracht

    () (University of Aberdeen Business School, Department of Economics, Edward Wright Building, Dunbar Street, Aberdeen, AB24 3QY, Scotland)

  • Adam Zylbersztejn

    () (Univ Lyon, Université Lyon 2, GATE L-SE UMR 5824, F-69342 Lyon, France)

Abstract

We study questionnaire responses to moral dilemmas hypothetical situations in which sacrificing one life may save many other lives. We demonstrate gender differences in moral judgments: male participants are more supportive of the sacrifice than female participants. We investigate the importance of the previously studied source of the endorsement of the sacrfice: antisocial attitudes. First, we elicit the individual proneness to spiteful behavior using an incentivized experimental game. We demonstrate that spitefulness can be sizable but it is not associated with gender. Second, we find that gender is associated with moral judgments even when we account for individual differences in antisocial attitudes. Our results suggest that the performance of many institutions (related to the distribution of wealth or punishment, for instance) may be affected by the gender of the decision-makers.

Suggested Citation

  • Juergen Bracht & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2016. "Antisocial Attitudes, Gender and Moral Judgments: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 1630, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
  • Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1630
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David K. Levine, 1998. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 593-622, July.
    2. Charness, Gary & Grosskopf, Brit, 2001. "Relative payoffs and happiness: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 301-328, July.
    3. Natalie Gold & Andrew M. Colman & Briony D. Pulford, 2014. "Cultural differences in responses to real-life and hypothetical trolley problems," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 9(1), pages 65-76, January.
    4. Andrea L. Glenn & Spassena Koleva & Ravi Iyer & Jesse Graham & Peter H. Ditto, 2010. "Moral identity in psychopathy," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 5(7), pages 497-505, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender; moral dilemmas; moral judgments; spite; antisocial attitudes; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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