IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp12058.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Motivated Memory in Dictator Games

Author

Listed:
  • Saucet, Charlotte

    () (University of Lyon 2)

  • Villeval, Marie Claire

    () (CNRS, GATE)

Abstract

The memory people have of their past behavior is one of the main sources of information about themselves. To study whether people retrieve their memory self-servingly in social encounters, we designed an experiment in which participants play binary dictator games and then have to recall the amounts allocated to the receivers. We find evidence of motivated memory through selective recalls: dictators remember more their altruistic than their selfish choices. A causal effect of the responsibility of decisions is identified, as the recall asymmetry disappears when options are selected randomly by the computer program. Incentivizing memory accuracy increases the percentage of dictators' correct recalls only when they behaved altruistically. In contrast, there is no clear evidence of motivated memory through biased, i.e., overly optimistic recalls: dictators recall selectively but they do not bias strategically the direction and magnitude of these recalls.

Suggested Citation

  • Saucet, Charlotte & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2018. "Motivated Memory in Dictator Games," IZA Discussion Papers 12058, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12058
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp12058.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Jonathan A. Parker, 2005. "Optimal Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1092-1118, September.
    2. 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, vol. 99(1), pages 544-555, March.
    3. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
    4. Soo Hong Chew & Wei Huang & Xiaojian Zhao, 2020. "Motivated False Memory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(10), pages 3913-3939.
    5. Florian Zimmermann, 2020. "The Dynamics of Motivated Beliefs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(2), pages 337-361, February.
    6. Zachary Grossman & Joël J. van der Weele, 2017. "Self-Image and Willful Ignorance in Social Decisions," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 173-217.
    7. Adrian Bruhin & Ernst Fehr & Daniel Schunk, 2019. "The many Faces of Human Sociality: Uncovering the Distribution and Stability of Social Preferences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 1025-1069.
    8. James Dow, 1991. "Search Decisions with Limited Memory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 1-14.
    9. Nagore Iriberri & Pedro Rey-Biel, 2011. "The role of role uncertainty in modified dictator games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(2), pages 160-180, May.
    10. Casari, Marco & Cason, Timothy N., 2009. "The strategy method lowers measured trustworthy behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 157-159, June.
    11. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2004. "Willpower and Personal Rules," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 848-886, August.
    12. Piccione, Michele & Rubinstein, Ariel, 1997. "On the Interpretation of Decision Problems with Imperfect Recall," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, July.
    13. Dessí, Roberta & Gallo, Edoardo & Goyal, Sanjeev, 2016. "Network cognition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 78-96.
    14. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
    15. King Li, 2013. "Asymmetric memory recall of positive and negative events in social interactions," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(3), pages 248-262, September.
    16. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Self-Confidence and Personal Motivation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 871-915.
    17. B. Douglas Bernheim & Raphael Thomadsen, 2005. "Memory and Anticipation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(503), pages 271-304, April.
    18. Juan D. Carrillo & Thomas Mariotti, 2000. "Strategic Ignorance as a Self-Disciplining Device," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 529-544.
    19. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri Drange Hole & Erik Ø Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 818-827, June.
    20. Andrea Wilson, 2014. "Bounded Memory and Biases in Information Processing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82, pages 2257-2294, November.
    21. Bock, Olaf & Baetge, Ingmar & Nicklisch, Andreas, 2014. "hroot: Hamburg Registration and Organization Online Tool," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 117-120.
    22. Uri Gneezy & Agne Kajackaite & Joel Sobel, 2018. "Lying Aversion and the Size of the Lie," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(2), pages 419-453, February.
    23. Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "A Memory-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 735-774.
    24. Gottlieb, Daniel, 2014. "Imperfect memory and choice under risk," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 127-158.
    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. Banerjee, Ritwik & Gupta, Nabanita Datta & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2020. "Feedback spillovers across tasks, self-confidence and competitiveness," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 127-170.
    2. Dimant, Eugen & van Kleef, Gerben A. & Shalvi, Shaul, 2020. "Requiem for a Nudge: Framing effects in nudging honesty," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 247-266.
    3. Silvia Saccardo & Marta Serra-Garcia, 2020. "Cognitive Flexibility or Moral Commitment? Evidence of Anticipated Belief Distortion," CESifo Working Paper Series 8529, CESifo.
    4. Cristina Bicchieri & Eugen Dimant, 2018. "It's Not A Lie If You Believe It. Lying and Belief Distortion Under Norm-Uncertainty," PPE Working Papers 0012, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    5. Garcia, Thomas & Massoni, Sébastien & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2020. "Ambiguity and excuse-driven behavior in charitable giving," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    6. van der Weele, Joël J. & von Siemens, Ferdinand A., 2020. "Bracelets of pride and guilt? An experimental test of self-signaling," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 280-291.
    7. Cristina Bicchieri & Eugen Dimant & Silvia Sonderegger, 2020. "It's Not a Lie If You Believe the Norm Does Not Apply: Conditional Norm-Following with Strategic Beliefs," CESifo Working Paper Series 8059, CESifo.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Chalotte Saucet & Marie Claire Villeval, 2018. "Motivated Memory in Dictator Games," Working Papers 1804, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    2. Gottlieb, Daniel, 2014. "Imperfect memory and choice under risk," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 127-158.
    3. John Smith, 2009. "Imperfect Memory and the Preference for Increasing Payments," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(4), pages 684-700, December.
    4. Saori Chiba & Kaiwen Leong, 2016. "Behavioral Economics of Crime Rates and Punishment Levels," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 172(4), pages 727-754, December.
    5. Ging-Jehli, Nadja R. & Schneider, Florian H. & Weber, Roberto A., 2020. "On self-serving strategic beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 341-353.
    6. Banerjee, Ritwik & Gupta, Nabanita Datta & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2020. "Feedback spillovers across tasks, self-confidence and competitiveness," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 127-170.
    7. Leung, Benson Tsz Kin, 2020. "Limited cognitive ability and selective information processing," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 345-369.
    8. John Smith, 2007. "Cognitive Dissonance, Imperfect Memory and the Preference for Increasing Payments," Departmental Working Papers 200705, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    9. Olivier Gossner & Jakub Steiner, 2016. "Optimal Illusion of Control and Related Perception Biases," Edinburgh School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 276, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    10. Koster, Paul & Peer, Stefanie & Dekker, Thijs, 2015. "Memory, expectation formation and scheduling choices," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 256-265.
    11. Page, Lionel & Page, Katie, 2010. "Last shall be first: A field study of biases in sequential performance evaluation on the Idol series," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 186-198, February.
    12. Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2020. "Memory, Attention, and Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(3), pages 1399-1442.
    13. Nyborg, Karine, 2011. "I don't want to hear about it: Rational ignorance among duty-oriented consumers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 263-274, August.
    14. Augenblick, Ned & Cunha, Jesse M. & Dal Bó, Ernesto & Rao, Justin M., 2016. "The economics of faith: using an apocalyptic prophecy to elicit religious beliefs in the field," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 38-49.
    15. Alejandro Núñez Arroyo, 2018. "Information seeking with selective memory," Documentos CEDE 017131, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    16. Macera, Rosario, 2014. "Dynamic beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 1-18.
    17. Cristina Bicchieri & Eugen Dimant, 2018. "It's Not A Lie If You Believe It. Lying and Belief Distortion Under Norm-Uncertainty," PPE Working Papers 0012, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    18. Ishida, Junichiro, 2012. "Contracting with self-esteem concerns," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 329-340.
    19. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2009. "Over My Dead Body: Bargaining and the Price of Dignity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 459-465, May.
    20. Rustichini, Aldo & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2014. "Moral hypocrisy, power and social preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 10-24.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dictator Game; motivated memory; selective recall; self-image; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    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:iza:izadps:dp12058. 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: (Holger Hinte). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    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.