nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2021‒03‒15
four papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Monetary incentives and the contagion of unethical behavior By Le Maux, Benoît; Masclet, David; Necker, Sarah
  2. From emotion to motivation: Researchers will pretend whatever you want to feel your support By Ana Tur-Porcar, Andrés Salas-Vallina, Joaquín M. Azagra-Caro
  3. Aversion to risk of regret and preference for positively skewed risks By Christian Gollier
  4. Third-Party Punishment: Retribution or Deterrence? By Fangfang Tan; Erte Xiao

  1. By: Le Maux, Benoît; Masclet, David; Necker, Sarah
    Abstract: We analyze both theoretically and empirically how monetary incentives and information about others' behavior affect dishonesty. We run a laboratory experiment with 560 participants, each of whom observes a number from one to six with there being a payoff associated with each number. They can either truthfully report the number they see or lie about it in order to increase their payoff. We vary both the size of the payoff (Low, High, and Very High) and the amount of information about others' dishonesty (With and Without Information). We first find that dishonesty falls in the Very High treatment. Second, while social information has on average at most a weak positive effect, there is a strong effect if the accuracy of individuals' beliefs is accounted for. Third, social information and payoffs do not interact with each other.
    Keywords: Laboratory experiment,theory,cheating,monetary incentives,information on others' behavior,lying costs
    JEL: C91 D03 D78
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Ana Tur-Porcar, Andrés Salas-Vallina, Joaquín M. Azagra-Caro
    Abstract: Advanced knowledge plays a significant role in contemporary, science-based society as a source of wealth and an engine for economic development (Lehtinen, McMullen, & Gruber, 2019). A person in science (Grosul & Feist, 2014) has cognitive, psychological, motivational, emotional and contextual characteristics that guide the direction of their work (Araújo, Cruz, & Almeida, 2017; Lounsbury et al., 2012; Lubinski, Benbow, Shea, Eftekhari-Sanjani, & Halvorson, 2001). That is why quality scientific research is found among researchers with a particular combination of attributes that are not only cognitive, but also non-cognitive (Lubinski et al., 2001) such as motivation and emotions. The people involved in the work can act based on internal and prosocial reasons, as well as external ones. Indeed, in keeping with the theory of self-determination, people involved in a task have a high level of autonomy if they find the activity itself satisfying (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Also, the theory of self-determination provides a conceptual framework regarding motivation in specific areas such as learning, the business world and sports, which explains changes in behaviour and the level of commitment to the task to achieve the goals set (Ryan, Vansteenkiste, & Soenens, 2019). This theory stresses intrinsic motivation, referring to the desire to make an effort due to the interest and well-being that the activity itself creates. Thanks to this situation of well-being, an optimal state of commitment and autonomy regarding the task is reached (Gagné & Deci, 2005; Ryan & Deci, 2000). Prosocial motivation can also play a part, focussing more on the desire to work for the good of others and to contribute to their well-being (Grant, 2007). Material incentives and extrinsic motivation are absent in both intrinsic and prosocial motivation, and the latter two ending up mutually reinforcing each other (Kroll & Porumbescu, 2019). Research into what fosters scientific quality has analysed aspects such as curiosity (Jindal-Snape & Snape, 2006), creativity (Grosul & Feist, 2014; Tahamtan & Bornmann, 2018), creativity and motivation (Zhu, Gardner, & Chen, 2018), values (Sato, 2016), personality (Lounsbury et al., 2012) and emotional and motivational processes (Araújo et al., 2017; Jindal-Snape & Snape, 2006). Taking into account this theoretical context, this study specifically aims to analyse the role of social support as a mediator between self-knowledge of emotion and motivation in people who work in advanced knowledge. Furthermore, this article aims to contribute to the preceding research with an analysis on the role of social support in the relationship between self-emotional appraisal and motivation. Within emotional processes, the importance of strategies geared towards emotional control and positive internal dialogue has been observed (Araújo et al., 2017), which can be boosted by good self-knowledge of emotions. Within the context of emotional intelligence theory, people with adequate knowledge and management of their own emotions tend to keep up good interpersonal relationships and to seek social support (Bucich & MacCann, 2019) for instrumental or emotional reasons (Goldenberg, Matheson & Mantler, 2006) because the favourable results will have repercussions on an individual and collective level (Portes, 1998). That is why social support networks can provide a source of encouragement and strength to go on working to achieve goals, giving emotional relief and tranquillity in a comfortable environment (Holt-Lunstad & Smith, 2012). Moreover, people cope better with challenges and process information better when they have access to social interlocutors (Bauer, King & Steger, 2019). These principles are consistent with the Social Baseline Theory (Beckes & Coan, 2011) on the benefits to be gained by sharing work to increase the results and reduce the costs of environmental demands. The social context itself can strengthen an individual's ability to overcome adversity. Hence, one specific aim of this research is to analyse the role of social support in the relationship between emotional self-appraisal and motivation.
    Date: 2021–03–05
  3. By: Christian Gollier (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: We assume that the ex-post utility of an agent facing a menu of lotteries depends upon the actual payoff together with its forgone best alternative, thereby allowing for the expost emotion of regret. An increase in the risk of regret is obtained when the actual payoff and its forgone best alternative are statistically less concordant in the sense of Tchen (1980). The aversion to any such risk of regret is thus equivalent to the supermodularity of the bivariate utility function. We show that more regret-risk-averse agents are more willing to choose the risky act in a one-risky-one-safe menu, in particular when the payoff of the risky choice is highly skewed. This is compatible with the "possibility effect" that is well documented in prospect theory. Symmetrically, we define the aversion to elationrisk that can prevail when the ex-post utility is alternatively sensitive to the forgone worst payoff. We show that elation-risk-seeking is compatible with the "certainty effect". We finally show that regret-risk-averse and elation-risk-seeking people behave as if they had rank-dependent utility preferences with an inverse-S shaped probability weighting function that reproduces estimates existing in the literature.
    Keywords: Riskseeking,Probability weighting,Possibility effect,Certainty effect,Longshot bias,Prospect theory,Behavioral finance
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Fangfang Tan; Erte Xiao
    Abstract: We conduct an experiment to examine the role of retribution and deterrence in motivating third party punishment. In particular, we consider how the role of these two motives may differ according to whether a third party is a group or an individual. In a one-shot prisoner’s dilemma game with third party punishment, we find groups punish more when the penalty embeds deterrence than when it can only be retributive. In contrast, individual third parties’ punishment decisions do not vary on whether the punishment has any deterrent effect. In general, third party groups are less likely to impose punishment than individuals even though the punishment is costless for third parties.
    Keywords: Third-party punishment, group decision making, retribution, deterrence, social dilemmas, experiment
    JEL: C72 C92 D63 D70
    Date: 2019–06

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