nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2015‒10‒10
seven papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Some Causes are More Equal than Others? Behavioral Spillovers in Charitable Giving By Ek, Claes
  2. Language and intergroup discrimination. Evidence from an experiment By Dominique Cappelletti; Luigi Mittone; Matteo Ploner
  3. Modeling a Satisficing Judge By Christoph Engel; Werner Güth
  4. The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Experimental Evidence from Children's Intertemporal Choices By Sutter, Matthias; Angerer, Silvia; Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela; Lergetporer, Philipp
  5. Undergraduates’ Achievement Goal Orientations, Academic Self-Efficacy and Hope as the Predictors of Their Learning Approaches By Makbule Kali Soyer; Berke Kirikkanat
  6. Are individuals with higher cognitive ability expected to play more strategically? By Juan M. Benito-Ostolaza; Penélope Hernández; Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis
  7. Information Characteristics and Errors in Expectations: Experimental Evidence By Antoniou, Constantinos; Harrison, Glenn; Lau, Morten; Read, Daniel

  1. By: Ek, Claes (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: People can often contribute to prosocial causes by several means; for instance, environmentally friendly activities include sorting household waste, buying organic products, and donating to NGOs. Policy to encourage prosocial behavior is sometimes directed only towards a particular activity, however, and such policies may give rise to `behavioral spillovers', affecting efforts on other prosocial activities. We examine such spillovers in the lab. In a version of the dictator game, experimental subjects could donate to two different real-world charities, and to simulate activity-specific policy, the relative productivity of the charities varied. We hypothesize, first, that an increase in the productivity of one charity will `crowd out' contributions to the other charity. Second, we introduce several treatments to test whether crowding occurs even across (possibly very) dissimilar alternatives. Crowding-out occurs significantly in all cases, but the effect is systematically weaker, the more dissimilar are the charity alternatives. In our most dissimilar treatment, it is only half as large as when alternatives are very similar.
    Keywords: charitable giving; dictator game; public goods; prosocial behavior
    JEL: C91 D03 H41
    Date: 2015–10–02
  2. By: Dominique Cappelletti; Luigi Mittone; Matteo Ploner
    Abstract: Language is one of the most salient dimensions of ethnocultural identity and clearly marks who is and who is not a member of the group. We conduct an experiment to investigate the role of language in intergroup discrimination in the creation of social capital, here operationalised as a measure encompassing trust, trustworthiness, cooperation, and coordination. We observe the behaviour of the members of a minority language community when they receive the instructions written in their own idiomatic language and when they receive them written in the surrounding language. We find a language effect on behaviour, but this effect is gender specific. When deciding in the surrounding language, participants do not treat ingroup and outgroup members differently. When deciding in their own idiomatic language, females show intergroup discrimination and treat ingroup members more favourably compared to how they treat them when deciding in the surrounding language. We also observe that the behaviour participants exhibit in the experiment positively correlates with their attitudes as measured by the standard trust survey question used as a proxy for social capital.
    Keywords: language, intergroup discrimination, social capital, experiment
    JEL: C9
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Christoph Engel (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Werner Güth (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: Judges and juries frequently must decide, knowing that they do not know everything that would be relevant for deciding the case. The law uses two related institutions for enabling courts to nonetheless decide the case: the standard of proof, and the burden of proof. In this paper, we contrast a standard rational choice approach with a satisficing approach. Standard theory would want judges to rationally deal with the limitations of the evidence. We posit that this is not only descriptively implausible, but also normatively undesirable. We propose a theoretical framework for a judge who only considers scenarios that "she does not dare to neglect", and aims at decisions that are "good enough", given the undissolvable limitations of the evidence. We extend this approach to parties who strategically exploit the limited factual basis, and to judges who have to allocate limited resources for fact finding to more than one case.
    JEL: D82 C72 D81 K41 D03
    Date: 2015–10
  4. By: Sutter, Matthias (University of Cologne); Angerer, Silvia (IHS Carinthia); Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela (University of Innsbruck); Lergetporer, Philipp (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: According to Chen's (2013) linguistic-savings hypothesis, languages which grammatically separate the future and the present (like English or Italian) induce less future-oriented behavior than languages in which speakers can refer to the future by using present tense (like German). We complement Chen's approach with experimentally elicited time preference data from a bilingual city in Northern Italy. We find that German-speaking primary school children are about 46% more likely than Italian-speaking children to delay gratification in an intertemporal choice experiment. The difference remains significant in several robustness checks and when controlling for a broad range of factors, including risk attitudes, IQ or family background.
    Keywords: intertemporal choice, language, children, experiment
    JEL: C91 D03 D90
    Date: 2015–09
  5. By: Makbule Kali Soyer (Marmara University Atatürk Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences, Department of Guidance and Psychological Counseling); Berke Kirikkanat (Istanbul Commerce University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Educational Sciences)
    Abstract: The aim of the present study was to figure out whether university students’ learning approaches were shaped via their achievement goal orientations, academic self-efficacy and hope or not. The other objective was to examine if these psychological constructs varied in accordance with the demographic variables including gender, age and class level. 332 undergraduates from Marmara University and Istanbul Commerce University who were in the year of junior and senior participated in the study. The Achievement Goal Orientations Scale, the Academic Self-Efficacy Scale, the Dispositional Hope Scale and the Demographic Form were utilized to reveal the predictive power of these constructs on their learning attitudes measured by the Revised Two-Factor Study Process Questionnaire. Multiple linear regression analysis indicated that learning goal orientation was a pivotal predictor of both deep and surface approach to learning. Academic self-efficacy and hope were the crucial precursors of deep approach while performance-avoidance goal inclination was a considerable predictor of surface approach. Independent samples t-test analysis displayed that the female undergraduates were superior to the male ones in terms of the learning goal tendency. And the students (20 to 22 aged) demonstrated higher scores on the same variable than the other ones (23 to 25 aged). On the basis of class level, there were no significant differences in the scores of achievement goal orientations, academic self-efficacy, hope and learning approaches. The results pointed out the fact that such concepts pertinent to an undergraduate’s academic performance could be viewed as distinctive features engendering different learning attitudes toward scholastic training.
    Keywords: Achievement goal orientation, academic self-efficacy, hope, learning approaches, undergraduates
  6. By: Juan M. Benito-Ostolaza (Department of Economics, Universidad Pública de Navarra); Penélope Hernández (Universitat de València and ERICES, Spain); Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis (Universitat de València and ERICES, Spain)
    Abstract: This paper experimentally analyzes the relationship between cognitive abilities and strategic behavior. In our experiment, individuals play in a sequential game where computing the equilibrium is challenging. After playing the game, we measure the individual's cognitive ability using the Raven's test. The results we obtain reveal that the number of strategic decisions (played in the sequential game) increases signicantly among the individuals with higher cognitive ability (measured by the Raven's test), as compared to those with lower cognitive ability. These results conrm that individuals with higher cognitive abilities play more strategically.
    Keywords: Strategic Behavior, Cognitive abilities, Raven test, Experiments.
    JEL: A12 C72 C91
    Date: 2015–10
  7. By: Antoniou, Constantinos (University of Warwick); Harrison, Glenn (Georgia State University, CEAR); Lau, Morten (Copenhagen Business School); Read, Daniel (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: We design an experiment to test the hypothesis that, in violation of Bayes Rule, some people respond more forcefully to the strength of information than to its weight. We provide incentives to motivate effort, use naturally occurring information, and control for risk attitude. We find that the strength-weight bias affects expectations, but that its magnitude is significantly lower than originally reported. Controls for non-linear utility further reduce the bias. Our results suggest that incentive compatibility and controls for risk attitude considerably affect inferences on errors in expectations.
    Keywords: behavioral biases, market efficiency, experimental finance
    JEL: D81 D84 G11
    Date: 2015–09

This nep-cbe issue is ©2015 by Marco Novarese. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.