Facing Yourself: A Note on Self-Image
Numerous signaling models in economics assume image concerns. These take two forms, as relating either to social image or self-image. While empirical work has identified the behavioral importance of the former, little is known about the role of self-image concerns. We exogenously vary self-image concerns in manipulating self-directed attention and study the impact on moral behavior. The choice context in the experiment is whether subjects inflict a painful electric shock on another subject to receive a monetary payment. Three between-subjects conditions are studied. In the main treatment, subjects see their own face on the decision screen in a real-time video feed. In the two control conditions, subjects see either no video at all or a neutral video. We find that the exogenous increase in self-image concerns significantly reduces the fraction of subjects inflicting pain.
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- Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009.
"Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially,"
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American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-555, March.
- Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2007. "Doing good or doing well? Image motivation and monetary incentives in behaving prosocially," Working Papers 07-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Ariely, Dan & Bracha, Anat & Meier, Stephan, 2007. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," IZA Discussion Papers 2968, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Seabright Paul B, 2009. "Continuous Preferences and Discontinuous Choices: How Altruists Respond to Incentives," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-28, April. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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