nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2013‒02‒03
eleven papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
University Amedeo Avogadro

  1. Parenting with Style: Altruism and Paternalism in Intergenerational Preference Transmission By Doepke, Matthias; Zilibotti, Fabrizio
  2. Values, food and bags: A study of consumption decisions in a laboratory supermarket By Astrid Matthey; Tim Kasser
  3. Charitable Giving as a Signal of Trustworthiness: Disentangling the Signaling Benefits of Altruistic Acts By Fehrler, Sebastian; Przepiorka, Wojtek
  4. Herding differently: A level-k model of social learning By Penczynski, Stefan
  5. When to Favour Your Own group? The Threats of Costly Punishments and In-group Favouritism By Donna Harris; Benedikt Herrmann
  6. Progression in Student Creativity in School: First Steps Towards New Forms of Formative Assessments By Bill Lucas; Guy Claxton; Ellen Spencer
  7. Team Dynamics and the Marshmallow Challenge: studying team performance and personal satisfaction with a focus on verbal interactions By Hanna Daoudy; Michel Verstraeten
  8. Consuming organic products: altruistic or selfish motives? By Bergès, Fabian; Monier-Dilhan, Sylvette
  9. Framed field experiments with heterogeneous frame connotation By Ansink, Erik; Bouma, Jetske
  10. Experimental Evidence on Valuation and Learning with Multiple Priors By Qiu, Jianying; Weitzel, Utz
  11. Framing Effects and Impatience: Evidence from a Large Scale Experiment By van der Heijden, Eline; Klein, Tobias J.; Müller, Wieland; Potters, Jan

  1. By: Doepke, Matthias (Northwestern University); Zilibotti, Fabrizio (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: We construct a theory of intergenerational preference transmission that rationalizes the choice between alternative parenting styles (related to Baumrind 1967). Parents maximize an objective function that combines Beckerian and paternalistic altruism towards children. They can affect their children's choices via two channels: either by influencing their preferences or by imposing direct restrictions on their choice sets. Different parenting styles (authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive) emerge as equilibrium outcomes, and are affected both by parental preferences and by the socioeconomic environment. We consider two applications: patience and risk aversion. We argue that parenting styles may be important for explaining why different groups or societies develop different attitudes towards human capital formation, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
    Keywords: intergenerational preference transmission, altruism, paternalism, entrepreneurship, innovation
    JEL: D10 J10 O10 O40
    Date: 2012–12
  2. By: Astrid Matthey (Max-Planck-Insititute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group); Tim Kasser (Knox College, Department of Psychology)
    Abstract: We study the relation between people's personal values and environmentally friendly consumption behavior. We first assessed subjects' personal values using the Aspiration Index. Then subjects participated in a laboratory supermarket offering organic and conventional food products and different kinds of bags. The results suggest that subjects' personal values are poor predictors of their ecologically-relevant consumption behavior. However, we find that subjects who spontaneously reflected upon power values made less ecologically sustainable consumption decisions than did those who reflected on universalism values. We discuss methodological differences as possible reasons for variations between our results and those of earlier studies.
    Keywords: Consumer Behavior, Values, Conservation (Ecological Behavior)
    JEL: D12 Q31 Q56
    Date: 2013–01–17
  3. By: Fehrler, Sebastian (University of Zurich); Przepiorka, Wojtek (Nuffield College, Oxford)
    Abstract: It has been shown that psychological predispositions to benefit others can motivate human cooperation and the evolution of such social preferences can be explained with kin or multi-level selection models. It has also been shown that cooperation can evolve as a costly signal of an unobservable quality that makes a person more attractive with regard to other types of social interactions. Here we show that if a proportion of individuals with social preferences is maintained in the population through kin or multi-level selection, cooperative acts that are truly altruistic can be a costly signal of social preferences and make altruistic individuals more trustworthy interaction partners in social exchange. In a computerized laboratory experiment, we test whether altruistic behavior in the form of charitable giving is indeed correlated with trustworthiness and whether a charitable donation increases the observing agents' trust in the donor. Our results support these hypotheses and show that, apart from trust, responses to altruistic acts can have a rewarding or outcome-equalizing purpose. Our findings corroborate that the signaling benefits of altruistic acts that accrue in social exchange can ease the conditions for the evolution of social preferences.
    Keywords: altruism, evolution of cooperation, costly signaling, social preferences, trust, trustworthiness
    JEL: C72 C92 H41
    Date: 2013–01
  4. By: Penczynski, Stefan
    Abstract: This paper proposes a behavioral model of social learning that unies various forms of inferential reasoning in one hierarchy of types. Iterated best responses that are based on uninformative level-0 play lead to the following of the private information (level-1), to the following of the majority (level-2), to a differentiated view on predecessors (level-3), etc. I present evidence from three sources that these are the prevalent types of reasoning in social learning: a review of social learning studies, existing data from Celen and Kariv (2004) as well as new experimental data that includes written accounts of reasoning from incentivized intra-team communication.
    Keywords: Social learning , levels of reasoning
    JEL: C91 D82 D83 D84
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Donna Harris; Benedikt Herrmann
    Abstract: Using a laboratory experiment with minimal groups, we examined the extent to which the threats of costly punishments affect in-group favouritism behaviour. We studied three types of punishment separately: in-group, out-group, and third-party punishments. In line with previous studies, the majority of the allocators favoured their own group by allocating more money to each of the in-group members at the expense of the out-group in the baseline without punishment. In the in-group punishment treatment, we observed a slight increase in in-group favouritism behaviour. On the contrary, when only the out-group could punish the allocators, there was a significant drop in in-group favouritism behaviour as well as an increase in the equal division option. Finally, when faced with an independent third-party punisher the allocators continued to favour their own group. The threat of third-party punishment appeared to have no effect on their decisions. Our paper contributes to the literature on in-group favouritism and the nature of social norms by showing that the decision whether to favour one’s own group is affected by the threats of in-group and out-group punishments and whether it leads to an increase or decrease in this behaviour depends on who has the punishment power. Parochial or in-group biased norm was enforced by the in-group members, whilst ‘egalitarian sharing norm’ (across groups) was enforced by the out-group members. We conclude firstly that people apply different ‘self-serving’ social norms depending on their own group identity. Secondly, unlike selfish or opportunistic behaviours, independent third-parties, who only observed this behaviour but were not directly affected by it, were not willing to punish this behaviour. 
    Keywords: In-group favouritism, Group behaviour, Social identity, Social norm, In-group punishment, Out-group punishment, Third-party punishment, Favour game
    JEL: D70 D73 C92
    Date: 2012–11–02
  6. By: Bill Lucas; Guy Claxton; Ellen Spencer
    Abstract: Creativity is widely accepted as being an important outcome of schooling. Yet there are many different views about what it is, how best it can be cultivated in young people and whether or how it should be assessed. And in many national curricula creativity is only implicitly acknowledged and seldom precisely defined. This paper offers a five dimensional definition of creativity which has been trialled by teachers in two field trials in schools in England. The paper suggests a theoretical underpinning for defining and assessing creativity along with a number of practical suggestions as to how creativity can be developed and tracked in schools. Two clear benefits of assessing progress in the development of creativity are identified: 1) teachers are able to be more precise and confident in developing young people’s creativity, and 2) learners are better able to understand what it is to be creative (and to use this understanding to record evidence of their progress). The result would seem to be a greater likelihood that learners can display the full range of their creative dispositions in a wide variety of contexts.<BR>La créativité est largement acceptée comme étant un résultat scolaire important. Pourtant il y a beaucoup d’opinions différentes sur ce qu’elle est, comment on peut la cultiver chez les jeunes gens, et si et comment on devrait l’évaluer. De plus, dans beaucoup de programmes scolaires, la créativité n’est reconnue que de manière implicite et rarement définie de manière précise. Ce document offre une définition de la créativité reposant sur cinq dimensions, qui a été testée par des enseignants durant deux expériences de terrain dans des écoles en Angleterre. Le document propose un soubassement théorique pour définir et évaluer la créativité ainsi que nombre de suggestions pratiques sur le développement et le suivi de la créativité à l’école. Deux bénéfices clairs d’évaluer le progrès dans le développement de la créativité sont identifiés : 1) les enseignants peuvent être plus précis et confiants lorsqu’ils développent la créativité des jeunes gens, et 2) les apprenants sont davantage en mesure de comprendre ce que « être créatif » signifie (et à utiliser cette compréhension pour documenter et relater leur progrès). Le résultat semble être une plus grande probabilité que les apprenants témoignent de toute l’étendue de leurs dispositions à la créativité dans un large éventail de contextes.
    Date: 2013–01–10
  7. By: Hanna Daoudy; Michel Verstraeten
    Abstract: The present study analyses the impacts of verbal interactions as well as the team’s international diversity on team performance and on team members’ satisfaction during a game called the Marshmallow Challenge. Ninety-one students from a business school participated in the game, forming twenty-three teams. The purpose was to construct the highest freestanding structure with 20 sticks of spaghettis and a marshmallow on top. Participants only had eighteen minutes to achieve this goal. The variables were measured through observations and through individual questionnaires. Results show that verbal interactions played a critical role on both performance and satisfaction. Teams where some of the members spoke more than others were more likely to achieve higher performance. Members in these teams were also more satisfied regarding the team outcome. Furthermore, open discussions in teams decreased the members’ communication process satisfaction. Finally interesting results appeared in international teams. For instance, the average level of anger and frustration was highest in these teams. This in turn had an impact on personal satisfaction. More specifically, the team’s international diversity affected negatively the members’ communication process satisfaction. Taken together, these findings show that communication strongly affected performance and satisfaction and it significantly influenced members’ willingness to remain in the same team. Despite these observations, the current study presents some limitations that will be discussed and that should be taken into account for further research.
    Keywords: team performance; team members’ satisfaction; verbal interactions
    Date: 2013–01–24
  8. By: Bergès, Fabian; Monier-Dilhan, Sylvette
    Abstract: The expansion of organic agriculture has been a key issue in sustainable development. We study consumers’ motives for purchasing organic agricultural products by analysing a basket of goods from a panel of French households. Buying organic products can be motivated by altruism, where the purchase reflects concerns for sustainable development, or by self-interest, where the purchase reflects concerns for health and/or product quality. The altruistic motivation can be analysed by looking at the purchase of “Fair Trade” products, whereas the latter two motivations can respectively be analysed by examining the purchase of healthy and higher quality labeled products. Our results indicate that buyers of organic products are motivated by altruism. Furthermore, higher education levels promote altruistic motives for this kind of purchase, and have a positive impact on the self-interested motives related to the quality of the product. However, income level and family size do not reinforce the strong complementary relationship that exists between the purchasing of organic and fair trade products.
    Keywords: organic agriculture, consumer’s behavior, discrete choice model
    JEL: C25 D12 Q01
    Date: 2013–01
  9. By: Ansink, Erik; Bouma, Jetske
    Abstract: We study label framing effects in linear public goods games. By accounting for heterogeneous frame connotation, we can identify individual framing effects. We test for such effects in a field experiment on irrigation management in India. Using membership of the water users association as a proxy for frame connotation, we find a differential impact on contributions in the game. Members contribute relatively more under the irrigation frame than non-members as compared to an alternative, neutral, frame. We conclude that experimental behaviour is sensitive to framing at the individual level but that such individual effects may cancel out on average, which explains previous studies that find mixed or only weak effects of framing.
    Keywords: Framing effects; field experiment; public goods game; frame connotation; irrigation management
    JEL: H41 Q15 C93
    Date: 2013–01–25
  10. By: Qiu, Jianying; Weitzel, Utz
    Abstract: Abstract Popular models for decision making under ambiguity assume that people use not one but multiple priors. This paper is a first attempt to experimentally elicit multiple priors. In an ambiguous scenario with two underlying states we measure a subject’s single prior, her other potential priors (multiple priors), her confidence in these priors valuation of an ambiguous asset with the same underlying states. We also investigate subjects' updating of (multiple) priors after receiving signals about the true states. We find that single priors are best understood as a confidence-weighted average of multiple priors. Single priors also predict the valuation of ambiguous assets best, while both the minimum and maximum of subjects' multiple priors add explanatory power. This provides some but no exclusive support for the maxmin (Gilboa and Schmeidler, 1989) and the alpha maxmin model (Ghirardato et al., 2004). With regard to updating of priors, we do not observe strong deviations from Bayesian learning, although subjects overadjust/underadjust their priors and their confidence in multiple priors after a contradictory/confirming signal. Subjects also react to neutral information with more confidence in their priors. This holds under ambiguity, but not in a comparison treatment under risk.
    Keywords: ambiguity; uncertainty; risk; multiple priors; Bayesian updating; first-order beliefs; second-order beliefs
    JEL: D46 D83 C91
    Date: 2013–01–24
  11. By: van der Heijden, Eline (Tilburg University); Klein, Tobias J. (Tilburg University); Müller, Wieland (University of Vienna); Potters, Jan (Tilburg University)
    Abstract: We confront a representative sample of one 1,102 Dutch individuals with a series of incentivized investment decisions and also elicit their time preferences. There are two treatments that differ in the frequency at which individuals decide about the invested amount. The low frequency treatment stimulates decision makers to frame a sequence of risky decisions broadly rather than narrowly. We find that the framing effect is significantly larger for impatient than for patient individuals. This result is robust to controlling for various economic and demographic variables and for cognitive ability.
    Keywords: framing, choice under risk, time preference, experiment
    JEL: C93 D03 D81
    Date: 2012–12

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