nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2020‒12‒07
seven papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Cheating in primary school: Experimental evidence on ego-depletion and individual factors By Tamás Keller; Hubert János Kiss; Szabolcs Számadó
  2. Cooperation in a Fragmented Society: Experimental Evidence on Syrian Refugees and Natives in Lebanon By Michalis Drouvelis; Bilal Malaeb; Michael Vlassopoulos; Jackline Wahba
  3. Social Proximity and the Erosion of Norm Compliance By Bicchieri, Cristina; Dimant, Eugen; Gächter, Simon; Nosenzo, Daniele
  4. Parent-bias By Guilherme Lichand; Juliette Thibaud
  5. The Influence Of Natural And Induced Emotional States On The Recognition Of Emotional Facial Expressions By Ekaterina Suchkova; Dmitry Lyusin
  6. Belief Elicitation When More Than Money Matters:Controlling for "Control". By Juan Dubra; Jean-Pierre Benoit; Giorgia Romagnoli
  7. Loss aversion in social image concerns By Petrishcheva, Vasilisa; Riener, Gerhard; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah

  1. By: Tamás Keller (Computational Social Science - Research Center for Educational and Network Studies, Centre for Social Sciences. 1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán utca 4. and Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies. 1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán utca 4.); Hubert János Kiss (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies. 1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán utca 4. and Department of Economics, Corvinus University of Budapest. 1093 Budapest Fõvám tér 8.); Szabolcs Számadó (Department of Sociology and Communication, Budapest University of Technology and Economics. 1111 Budapest, Egry J. u. 1. E.71. and Computational Social Science - Research Center for Educational and Network Studies, Centre for Social Sciences. 1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán utca 4. and Evolutionary Systems Research Group, Centre for Ecological Research)
    Abstract: We contribute to the experimental literature on primary school students’ cheating behavior by studying i) how cheating is influenced by ego depletion; ii) how it correlates with different individual factors. We carried out a large-scale, pre-registered experiment in the field of 28 Hungarian primary schools (126 classrooms) on a voluntary subsample of 1,143 students at grade levels 4 to 8. Students’ cheating behavior was measured by the incentivized dice-roll experiment. We find suggestive evidence that our light-touch treatment on ego-depletion increased students’ deceptive behavior. Cheating behavior correlated weakly with students’ individual characteristics. In a multivariate context controlling for between-classroom differences, we document that students’ cognitive ability correlated negatively, while their age positively, with their cheating behavior. We found students’ social context (their classroom belonging) as a more decisive determinant of students’ cheating behavior than individual characteristics.
    Keywords: honesty, cheating, individual factors, ego depletion, dice-roll exercise, pre-registered experiment
    JEL: A13 C91 D91
    Date: 2020–11
  2. By: Michalis Drouvelis (University of Birmingham); Bilal Malaeb (Institute of Global Affairs, London School of Economics and Political Science); Michael Vlassopoulos (University of Southampton); Jackline Wahba (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: Lebanon is the country with the highest density of refugees in the world, raising the question of whether the host and refugee populations can cooperate harmoniously. We conduct a lab-in-the-field experiment in Lebanon studying intra- and inter-group behavior of Syrian refugees and Lebanese nationals in a repeated public goods game without and with punishment. We randomly assign participants to Lebanese-only, Syrian-only, or mixed sessions. We find that randomly formed pairs in homogeneous sessions, on average, contribute and punish significantly more than those in mixed sessions, suggesting in-group cooperation is stronger. These patterns are driven by Lebanese participants. Further analysis indicates that behavior in mixed groups is more strongly conditioned on expectations about the partner’s cooperation than in homogeneous groups.
    Keywords: refugees, public goods game, cooperation, punishment
    JEL: D91 J5 F22
    Date: 2020–11
  3. By: Bicchieri, Cristina (University of Pennsylvania); Dimant, Eugen (University of Pennsylvania); Gächter, Simon (University of Nottingham); Nosenzo, Daniele (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: We study how individuals' compliance with norms of pro-social behavior is influenced by other actors' compliance in a novel, dynamic, and non-strategic experimental setting. We are particularly interested in the role that social proximity among peers plays in eroding or upholding norm compliance. Our results suggest that social proximity is crucial. In settings without known proximity, norm compliance erodes swiftly because participants only conform to observed norm violations of their peers while ignoring norm compliance. With known social proximity, participants conform to both types of observed behaviors, thus halting the erosion of norm compliance. Our findings stress the importance of the broader social context for norm compliance and show that, even in the absence of social sanctions, compliance can be sustained in repeated interactions, provided there is group identification, as is the case in many social encounters in natural and online environments.
    Keywords: norm compliance, social norms, social proximity
    JEL: C92 D64 D9
    Date: 2020–11
  4. By: Guilherme Lichand; Juliette Thibaud
    Abstract: This paper uses a lab-in-the-field experiment in Malawi to document two new facts about how parents share resources with their children over time. First, for almost a third of study participants, the further in the future consumption is, the more generous are parents’ plans to share it with their children. Second, many participants revise those plans as consumption gets closer, reallocating from children towards themselves – even when consumption is still in the future. None of these patterns can be accounted for by present-bias. Instead, both are consistent with a relevant share of parents discounting their future utility of consumption to a greater extent than that of their children. We document that parents characterized by such asymmetric geometric discounting display sizable preference reversals every period, a phenomenon we denote parent-bias. We find that, despite ambitious plans, those parents actually allocate less to their children in the present than other parents, and that such preferences predict under-investment in children outside the lab just as much as quasi-hyperbolic discounting. Commitment devices designed for present-bias do not mitigate parentbias. Our findings provide a new explanation for under-investment in children and inform the design of new interventions to address it.
    Keywords: Time preferences, preference reversals, children’s human capital
    JEL: C91 D13 E24
    Date: 2020–11
  5. By: Ekaterina Suchkova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Dmitry Lyusin (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: There are a number of factors that influence emotion recognition, one of which is the perceiver’s emotional state. This study verifies the predictions of two theories concerning the influence of mood on emotion recognition. According to the affect-as-information theory, people in a positive mood are prone to a more global processing style and perceive emotional facial expressions more easily compared to those in a negative mood. The emotion congruence theory claims that people in a positive mood are more sensitive to positive expressions and people in a negative mood are more sensitive to negative expressions. These predictions were tested with the experimental paradigm using morphed faces developed by Jackson and Arlegui-Prieto. Study 1 used participants’ natural moods; its findings failed to replicate the main results of the original study. Study 2 used laboratory mood induction and showed that participants in a negative mood are more sensitive to negative emotions compared to those in positive mood. These findings support the emotion congruence theory. However, this result was obtained only for the participants with the most effective mood induction. The observed effects of mood are weak and fragile. For more persuasive results, a study with greater statistical power using more effective mood induction procedures is needed.
    Keywords: mood, emotion recognition, mood induction, facial morphing task.
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Juan Dubra; Jean-Pierre Benoit; Giorgia Romagnoli
    Abstract: Incentive compatible mechanisms for eliciting beliefs typically presume that theutilty of money is state independent, or that money is the only argument in utilityfunctions. However, subjects may have non-monetary objectives that confound themechanisms. In particular, psychologists have argued that people favour bets wheretheir ability is involved over equivalent random bets ña so-called preference for control.We propose a new belief elicitation method that mitigates the control preference. Usingthis method, we determine that under the ostensibly incentive compatiblematchingprobabilities method, our subjects report self-beliefs 18% higher than their true beliefsin order to increase control. Non-monetary objectives account for at least 68% of whatwould normally be measured as overconÖdence. Our mechanism can be used to yieldbetter measurements of beliefs in contexts beyond the study of overconÖdence. Ourpaper also contributes to a reÖned understanding of control. We find that control manifests itself only as a desire for betting on doing well; betting on doing badly isperceived as a negative.
    Keywords: Elicitation, OverconÖdence, Control. Experimental Methods
    JEL: D3
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Petrishcheva, Vasilisa; Riener, Gerhard; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah
    Abstract: This paper explores whether loss aversion applies to social image concerns. In a simple model, we combine loss aversion in social image concerns and attitudes towards lying. We then test its predictions in a laboratory experiment. Subjects are first ranked publicly in a social image relevant domain, intelligence. This initial rank serves as within-subject reference point. After inducing an exogenous change in subjects' rank across treatments, subjects are offered scope for lying to improve their final rank. We find evidence for loss aversion in social image concerns. Subjects who face a loss in social image lie more than those experiencing gains if they sufficiently care about social image and have a reputation to lose. Individual-level analyses document a discontinuity in lying behavior when moving from rank losses to gains, indicating a kink in the value function for social image.
    Keywords: Loss aversion,Social image concerns,Lying behavior,Laboratory experiment
    JEL: C91 D91
    Date: 2020

This nep-cbe issue is ©2020 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.