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Honest signalling in trust interactions: smiles rated as genuine induce trust and signal higher earnings opportunities

Author

Listed:
  • Samuele Centorrino

    (SBU - Stony Brook University [The State University of New York])

  • Elodie Djemaï

    (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - Université Paris-Dauphine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Astrid Hopfensitz

    (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

  • Manfred Milinski
  • Paul Seabright

    (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

Abstract

We test the hypothesis that smiles perceived as honest serve as a signal that has evolved to induce cooperation in situations requiring mutual trust. Potential trustees (84 participants from Toulouse, France) made two video clips averaging around 15 seconds for viewing by potential senders before the latter decided whether to ‘send' or ‘keep' a lower stake (4 euro) or higher stake (8 euro). Senders (198 participants from Lyon, France) made trust decisions with respect to the recorded clips. If money was sent to the trustee, stakes were tripled and trustees could decide to keep all, two thirds or one half of the tripled stakes. Clips were further rated concerning the genuineness of the displayed smiles. We observe that smiles rated as more genuine strongly predict judgments about the trustworthiness of trustees, and willingness to send them money. We observe a relation between costs and benefits: smiles from trustees playing for higher stakes are rated as significantly more genuine. Finally, we show that those rated as smiling genuinely return more money on average to senders. An increase of one standard deviation in rating of smile genuineness is associated with an unconditional expected gain of about one dollar and thirty cents to senders in the two trials of the experiment. Potential gains for senders could be significantly increased from taking smiles rated as genuine into account.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuele Centorrino & Elodie Djemaï & Astrid Hopfensitz & Manfred Milinski & Paul Seabright, 2015. "Honest signalling in trust interactions: smiles rated as genuine induce trust and signal higher earnings opportunities," Post-Print hal-01518371, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01518371
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01518371
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Zakaria Babutsidze & Nobuyuki Hanaki & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2019. "Digital Communication and Swift Trust," Working Papers 1909, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    2. Emin Karagözoğlu & Ümit Barış Urhan, 2017. "The Effect of Stake Size in Experimental Bargaining and Distribution Games: A Survey," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 285-325, March.
    3. repec:gam:jgames:v:9:y:2018:i:4:p:81-:d:175144 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Leonie Gerhards & Michael Kosfeld, 2017. "I (Don't) Like You! But Who Cares? Gender Differences in Same Sex and Mixed Sex Teams," CESifo Working Paper Series 6523, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Non, Arjan, 2018. "Training participation and the role of reciprocal attitudes," ROA Research Memorandum 005, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    6. Andrea Essl & Frauke von Bieberstein & Michael Kosfeld & Markus Kröll, 2018. "Sales Performance and Social Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 7030, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Dilger, Alexander & Müller, Julia & Müller, Michael, 2017. "Is trustworthiness written on the face?," Discussion Papers of the Institute for Organisational Economics 2/2017, University of Münster, Institute for Organisational Economics.
    8. Essl, Andrea & von Bieberstein, Frauke & Kosfeld, Michael & Kröll, Markus, 2018. "Sales Performance and Social Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 11505, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Chen, Daniel & Hopfensitz, Astrid & van Leeuwen, Boris & van de Ven, Jeroen, 2019. "The Strategic Display of Emotions," Discussion Paper 2019-014, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Honest signaling; smiling; experiment; trust game; video;

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