Altruism or Artefact? A Note on Dictator Game Giving
Experimental dictator games have been used to explore unselfish behaviour. Evidence is presented here, however, that subjects’ generosity can be reversed by allowing them to take money from a partner. Dictator game giving therefore does not stem from orthodox social preferences. It can be interpreted plausibly as an artefact of experimentation. Alternatively the evaluation of an action depends on the composition of the choice set. Implications of these possibilities are explored for experimental methodology and charitable donations respectively. The artefact interpretation is empirically superior, and implies that researchers should investigate demand characteristics of experimental protocols.
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|Date of creation:||Apr 2005|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: School of Economics University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD|
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