Davide Barrera (University of Turin)
February 6 @ 14:00
- Past event
“The effects of framing and incentives on prosocial behavior”
Abstract: The present research has both a substantive and a methodological focus. Building on theoretical work on the role of framing (e.g., Kroneberg, 2014), we investigate whether exposure to a minimal normative frame affects prosocial behavior, using three behavioral measurements: a dictator game and two modified versions of the prisoner’s dilemma (fear game and greed game). We introduce the normative frame by letting half of the participants read an aphorism containing some indication of morally appropriate behavior, before each decision. The aphorisms are chosen to be applicable to the subsequent decision. From a methodological point of view, we replicate the frame manipulation using three different forms of incentives: money, chocolate candies, and points. In each condition, we set the payoff numbers to be equal, so that the instructions are identical in all other respects. In the experimental conditions with points the decisions are effectively not incentivized, because the points do not affect the participants’ payoffs. This design yields six experimental conditions. The results indicate that in the dictator game prosocial behavior tends to increase after reading the aphorism, regardless of the incentives applied to the decision. The results are relatively consistent in the other two games, but differences are statistically significant only with monetary incentives in the fear game and only with chocolate candies in the greed game. However, we do not find evidence of any interaction effect between incentives and normative frame.