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Social value orientation as a moral intuition: Decision-making in the dictator game

Author

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  • Gert Cornelissen
  • Siegfried Dewitte
  • Luk Warlop

Abstract

We studied the decision making process in the Dictator Game and showed that decisions are the result of a two-step process. In a first step, decision makers generate an automatic, intuitive proposal. Given sufficient motivation and cognitive resources, they adjust this in a second, more deliberated phase. In line with the social intuitionist model, we show that one’s Social Value Orientation determines intuitive choice tendencies in the first step, and that this effect is mediated by the dictator’s perceived interpersonal closeness with the receiver. Self-interested concerns subsequently lead to a reduction of donation size in step 2. Finally, we show that increasing interpersonal closeness can promote pro-social decision-making.

Suggested Citation

  • Gert Cornelissen & Siegfried Dewitte & Luk Warlop, 2007. "Social value orientation as a moral intuition: Decision-making in the dictator game," Economics Working Papers 1028, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1028
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    Cited by:

    1. Hauge, Karen Evelyn & Brekke, Kjell Arne & Johansson, Lars-Olof & Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Svedsäter, Henrik, 2009. "Are Social Preferences Skin Deep? Dictators under Cognitive Load," Working Papers in Economics 371, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. Smith, John, 2009. "The endogenous nature of social preferences," MPRA Paper 16599, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. John Smith, 2012. "The endogenous nature of the measurement of social preferences," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 11(2), pages 235-256, December.
    4. Shu-Heng Chan & Shu G. Wang, 2010. "Emergent Complexity in Agent-Based Computational Economics," ASSRU Discussion Papers 1017, ASSRU - Algorithmic Social Science Research Unit.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dictator game; social dilemma; decision-making; two stage model; social value orientation; interpersonal closeness;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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