Motivation Guilt Shame and Prosociality

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Motivation Guilt Shame and Prosociality Powered By Docstoc
					   Guilt, Shame, and Prosociality

Oslo, October 2008   Tore Ellingsen   1
         Wanted: Positive Theories of
• Question: Why do people give?
• Some answers:
  – Out of compassion
     – Out of obligation
     – To avoid guilt
     – To avoid shame
• Objective: Shed light on the roles of guilt
  and shame.
Oslo, October 2008         Tore Ellingsen       2
           Vehicle: Dictator Games
    Basic Dictator Game experiment:

    Two subjects. One subject, the Dictator,
    gets a monetary endowment M from the
    experimenter, the other subject, the
    Recipient, gets nothing. The Dictator
    decides how to allocate the endowment
    between herself and the recipient.
Oslo, October 2008   Tore Ellingsen            3
• Strictly speaking, economic experiments
  with monetary payoffs are not “games” but
  “game forms”. Only when the (von
  Neumann-Morgenstern) utility function has
  been defined, can we identify the game
  theoretic “solution”.
• The identification of such utility functions is
  what concerns me here.

Oslo, October 2008       Tore Ellingsen         4
             Dictator Games: Different
• FF: Face-to-face
     – Natural, but what is “the situation”?
• SB: Single-blind (separate rooms)
     – Typical treatment, fixates the situation
• DB: Double-blind (anonymous choice)
     – Reduces experimenter concerns
• TB: “Triple-blind” (recipient unawareness)
     – Reduces effect of joint context
Oslo, October 2008       Tore Ellingsen           5
     A SEK 120 Dictator Game (DB)
                 Ellingsen and Johannesson (EHB2008)

   20                                                  Frequency
             0        20     40         60     >60

Oslo, October 2008            Tore Ellingsen                   6
  Dictator Games: General features
• The SEK 120 game distributed 6 SEK 20
  bills. With finer grids, the following pattern
  is typical
     – Peaks at 0 and even splits
     – Troughs after 0 and before the even split.
     – Few donations above the even split.

Oslo, October 2008      Tore Ellingsen              7
            Proximate Explanations
• Let us look for utility functions U that may
  “rationalize” the choices that we observe.
• Initially, we consider utility functions that
  depend merely on the material outcomes.
• As a convention:
     – “sub-utility” functions f are increasing,
     – parameters are non-negative.
• Of course, people are heterogeneous.
Oslo, October 2008       Tore Ellingsen            8
           What model would fit? (i)
• Could it be simply altruism? Let
     where ci is i’s consumption.
• Probably not, because:
     – It is unreasonable that the utility maximization
       problem would have an interior solution given the
       restriction on transfers.
     – Indeed, subjects should give nothing, because people
       don’t share their money with random strangers
       outside the lab.
     – Interior final allocations are sensitive to initial
       allocations (taking options). Bardsley (EE, 2008) and
       List (JPE, 2007).
Oslo, October 2008           Tore Ellingsen                9
          What model would fit? (ii)
• Could it be altruism and “narrow bracketing”?
     where si is i’s endowment share.
• Probably not.
     – Narrow bracketing surely plays a role. The “situation”
       is: how to share manna from heaven.
     – But only a strange distribution of α (in combination
       with strange functions f1 and f2) can rationalize the

Oslo, October 2008           Tore Ellingsen                 10
         What model would fit? (iii)
• Assume narrow bracketing from now on. Could it
  be fairness? Let
     where si is i’s share.
• Explains why few give more than half.
• [Can also explain Bardsley (EE, 2008) and List
  (JPE, 2007)].
• But why give exactly 0.5? If s*=0.5, we’d expect
  sj<0.5 is f2 is smooth. (More on this later.)
• And what about the troughs just above 0 and
  just below 0.5? (More on this later.)

Oslo, October 2008            Tore Ellingsen         11
                     Counterevidence (i)
• Anonymity evidence challenges the fairness
  theory but is sparse/weak:
     – Hoffman et al (AER, 1996) find that double-blind
       design reduces contributions somewhat (although not
       statistically sig.; n≈40/treatment); an experimenter
       audience effect?
     – Koch and Norman (SEJ, 2008) likewise find that
       triple-blind design reduces contributions further
       (again, not stat. sig.; n=36/treatment); a recipient
       audience effect?

Oslo, October 2008          Tore Ellingsen                12
          Counterevidence (ii): Exit
• Exit evidence: Dana et al. (OBHDP, 2006).
     – $10 Dicator Game,
     – Unexpected $9 exit option – (exit implies
       receiver unawareness about game).
          • Case 1: Standard. Receiver aware unless exit.
          • Case 2: Private. Receiver always unaware.
     – Models considered above predict: No exit.
     – Standard game: 33% exit. (n=61)
     – Private game: 4% exit. (n=24)
Oslo, October 2008          Tore Ellingsen                  13
           Another nail in the coffin
• Broberg, Ellingsen and Johannesson (EL, 2007) go further and elicit
  exit reservation prices.
• 119 subjects. Double-blind. Letters format. BDM-elicitation

Oslo, October 2008           Tore Ellingsen                        14
• 64% of subjects violate purely outcome-
  based preferences (exit res. price < 100).
• Relationship between donation and exit
  reservation price is negative. If motivated
  solely by altruism or fairness the
  relationship should be positive.

Oslo, October 2008      Tore Ellingsen          15
        How can we explain exits?
• Exit evidence suggests that we must “somehow
  incorporate beliefs into the utility function.”
• Two approaches:
     – Caring about the recipient’s expectations (ex ante
       beliefs about action).
     – Caring about the recipient’s judgment (ex post beliefs
       about type).
• Dana et al. formally discuss expectations, but
  informally also discusses judgment.

Oslo, October 2008         Tore Ellingsen                   16
      Expectations: Guilt aversion
• For example, let
  where sE is the share i thinks that j expects.
     – Literature: Geanakoplos, Pearce, Stacchetti (GEB,
       1989), Charness and Dufwenberg (Ema, 2006), and
       Battigalli and Dufwenberg (JET,forthcoming).
• Note: If the reason for guilt is concern for
  recipient’s disappointment, this is an other-
  regarding preference (“let-down aversion”).

Oslo, October 2008        Tore Ellingsen                   17
        Evidence for guilt aversion
• Dictator donations correlate positively with
  reported sE.
     – Dufwenberg and Gneezy (GEB, 2000)
• Back-transfers in trust games are
  positively correlated with reported sE.
     – Charness and Dufwenberg (Ema, 2006)
     – Bacharach, Guerra, Zizzo, (T&D, 2007)
• Alternative interpretation: (False)
  consensus effect.
Oslo, October 2008    Tore Ellingsen           18
 Guilt aversion or false consensus?
• Ellingsen et al (2008)
  elicit recipient beliefs
  and communicate

                             Donation (SEK)
  them to dictators.                           80

• 84 pairs.                                    60

• The figure shows a

  bubble-plot of the                           20

  relationship between                          0

  the recipient’s belief                      -20
                                                    -20   0   20   40       60         80   100   120        140
  and the dictator’s                                                    Belief (SEK)

Oslo, October 2008      Tore Ellingsen                                                                  19
         Judgment: Shame and pride
              (social esteem)
    “Nature, when she formed man for society,
    endowed him with an original desire to please,
    and an original aversion to offend his brethren.
    She taught him to feel pleasure in their
    favourable, and pain in their unfavourable
    regard. She rendered their approbation most
    flattering and most agreeable to him for its own
    sake; and their disapprobation most mortifying
    and most offensive.”
         Adam Smith (1790, Pt III, Sec I, Para 13)

Oslo, October 2008      Tore Ellingsen                 20
              A social esteem model
• For example, let
  where φB is i’s belief about j’s belief about φi;
  see Andreoni and Bernheim (wp,2008).
     – Related literature:
          • Glazer and Konrad (AER, 1996), Prendergast and Stole
            (EER, 2001), Bénabou and Tirole (AER, 2006), Ellingsen and
            Johannesson (2007; AER, 2008), Tadelis (2008).
• Assume continuous distribution of φi.
• Compute perfect Bayesian equilibria and apply
  D1, a signaling game refinement.
Oslo, October 2008             Tore Ellingsen                       21
                     Model predictions
• The model can explain…
     – Absence of si>0.5 (as before – yet not trivial)
     – Prevalence of si=0.5 (new)
     – Troughs just above 0 and just below 0.5 (new)
     – Anonymity evidence (new)
     – Exit evidence (new)
• …i.e., all puzzles so far!
• And it has additional implications.
Oslo, October 2008         Tore Ellingsen           22
                     Additional evidence
• A USD 20 non-anonymous Dictator Game.
• Suppose that with probability p the donation is x
  (small) regardless of dictator’s choice; this in
  known to both.
• Pure fairness  larger donations.
• Social esteem concern  donate x.
• Two “conditions” (x=0, x=1). Each dictator sees
  one, and makes choices for p=0, p=1/4, p=1/2,
  p=3/4. (n=30/treatment and role).

Oslo, October 2008          Tore Ellingsen        23
                     Obscured choices

Oslo, October 2008         Tore Ellingsen   24
• Richer psychological model may sometimes be
     – Cues matter
          • Haley and Fessler (EHB, 2005)
     – Communication matters
          • Prior argumentation: Mohlin and Johannesson (JEBO, 2008).
          • Anticipated feedback: Ellingsen and Johannesson (EHB,
     – People shield themselves from information
          • Dana, Weber, Kuang (ET, 2007).

Oslo, October 2008             Tore Ellingsen                      25
              Fairness is conditional
• Dictator role allocation procedure matters.
     – E.g., Hoffman et al (GEB, 1994)
• Prior recipient behavior matters.
     – E.g., Falk and Kosfeld (AER, 2006).
• Thus, both φ and f3(φ) could depend on
  these factors.

Oslo, October 2008     Tore Ellingsen        26
• Cues that one is being watched induce larger
     – Haley and Fessler (EHB, 2005)
     – Bateson and Roberts (BL, 2006)
     – Burnham (HN, 2007)
• Cues of norms matter
     – Framing (labels, language) matters. E.g., Hoffman et
       al (AER, 1996)
     – Guessing, watching; Krupka and Weber (wp, 2007)
     – Facing opponent guesses; Ellingsen et al (wp, 2008)
Oslo, October 2008         Tore Ellingsen                     27
                     Dual Process
• Loewenstein and Small (RGP, 2007)
  suggest that social behavior is driven by
  interplay of instincts and cognition.
• Neuroscientific evidence:
     – Personal moral dilemmas (trolley problems)
       activate other brain regions than impersonal
       dilemmas; Greene et al (Science, 2001)
     – Lesions to VMPFC (“social emotions center”)
       induce utilitarian decisions; Koenigs et al
       (Nature, 2007).
Oslo, October 2008      Tore Ellingsen                28
            Dual process and giving
• Little work, but pilots suggest that
  cognitive load releases selfish instincts in
• In a (mini-) Dictator Game, dictators
  become more selfish when outcome for
  recipient is uncertain (and refuse to learn
  the outcome)
     – Dana, Weber, Kuang (ET, 2007)
          • Alt B: 5,5 Alt A: 6,1 Alt A’: 6,5

Oslo, October 2008            Tore Ellingsen     29
                     Moral arguments
• When recipient can make moral
  arguments in writing before dictator
  decides, donations go up by 70%+; Mohlin
  and Johannesson (JEBO, 2008).
• When recipient can send a written
  message after the donation, donations go
  up by 40%+; Ellingsen and Johannesson
  (EHB, 2008).

Oslo, October 2008        Tore Ellingsen   30
                 Feedback Experiment
      Ellingsen/Johannesson, Evolution and Human Behavior 2008

    25                                                No Feedback
    20                                                Feedback
             0       20   40           60       >60

Oslo, October 2008             Tore Ellingsen                    31

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