The purpose of this paper is to investigate how subtle religious representations affect prosocial behavior. The authors study the impact of religious representations on…
The purpose of this paper is to investigate how subtle religious representations affect prosocial behavior. The authors study the impact of religious representations on prosocial behavior in terms of cooperation in a one‐shot/three‐person public goods game.
The authors used the scrambled sentence task to prime participants with religious words before they were asked to make a one‐shot/three‐person public goods game decision.
Both in the raw data and when controlling for factors such as age, gender and religious beliefs, the authors found that priming of religious representations increased cooperation in the experiment, that is, increased contributions to the public good. The authors found no significant interaction effects between priming and self‐reported measures of religiosity, suggesting that the priming effect was present among both self‐reported religious and nonreligious participants. Self‐reported measures of religiosity were not correlated with cooperation in this study.
The paper adds to the growing body of experimental economics literature that has studied self‐reported measures of religiosity alongside behavior in different economic games. This study contributes to the literature by examining the effect of subtle influences of religion on cooperation. Also, in contrast to previous economic literature, the paper examines the direct impact of religion as an independent variable on cooperation.
This paper replicates four highly cited, classic lab experimental studies in the provision of public goods. The studies consider the impact of marginal per capita return…
This paper replicates four highly cited, classic lab experimental studies in the provision of public goods. The studies consider the impact of marginal per capita return and group size; framing (as donating to or taking from the public good); the role of confusion in the public goods game; and the effectiveness of peer punishment. Considerable attention has focused recently on the problem of publication bias, selective reporting, and the importance of research transparency in social sciences. Replication is at the core of any scientific process and replication studies offer an opportunity to reevaluate, confirm or falsify previous findings. This paper illustrates the value of replication in experimental economics. The experiments were conducted as class projects for a PhD course in experimental economics, and follow exact instructions from the original studies and current standard protocols for lab experiments in economics. Most results show the same pattern as the original studies, but in all cases with smaller treatment effects and lower statistical significance, sometimes falling below accepted levels of significance. In addition, we document a “Texas effect,” with subjects consistently exhibiting higher levels of contributions and lower free-riding than in the original studies. This research offers new evidence on the attenuation effect in replications, well documented in other disciplines and from which experimental economics is not immune. It also opens the discussion over the influence of unobserved heterogeneity in institutional environments and subject pools that can affect lab results.
We test whether party affiliation or ideological leanings influence subjects' behavior in public goods experiments and trust games. In general, party is unrelated to…
We test whether party affiliation or ideological leanings influence subjects' behavior in public goods experiments and trust games. In general, party is unrelated to behavior, and ideology is not related to contributions in the public goods experiment. However, there is some evidence that self-described liberals are both more trusting and more trustworthy.
Organizational cultures that facilitate collaboration are valuable, but little is known about how to create them. The authors investigate the microfoundations of this…
Organizational cultures that facilitate collaboration are valuable, but little is known about how to create them. The authors investigate the microfoundations of this problem using computational models of dyadic coupled learning. The authors find that merely altering initial beliefs about the consequence of actions (without altering the consequences themselves) can under some conditions create cultures that promote collaboration. The results of this study show why the right initial “framing” of a situation – established for instance through persuasive rhetoric, an inspiring vision, or careful recruitment choices – may under the right conditions be self-reinforcing, instead of becoming empty symbolism.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the supernatural punishment theory. The theory postulates that religion increases cooperation because religious people fear the retributions that may follow if they do not follow the rules and norms provided by the religion.
The paper reports results for a public goods experiment conducted in India, Mexico, and Sweden. By asking participants whether they are religious or not, one can study whether religiosity has an effect on voluntary cooperation in the public goods game.
No significant behavioral differences were found between religious and nonreligious participants in the experiment.
This paper differs from the previous limited experimental literature, studying religiosity and cooperation, in the sense that it uses a public goods game rather than a prisoner's dilemma game. The public goods game is more interesting since many real life problems are multilateral rather than bilateral. Further, the study was conducted in three different countries: India, Mexico, and Sweden; with three different types of potentialy religious people: Hindus, Catholics, and Protestants.
Recent experiments show that feedback transmission can mitigate opportunistic behavior in repeated social dilemmas. Two nonexcludable explanations have been investigated…
Recent experiments show that feedback transmission can mitigate opportunistic behavior in repeated social dilemmas. Two nonexcludable explanations have been investigated: strategic signaling and nonmonetary sanctioning. This literature builds on the intuition that under both partner matching (where the same groups of players interact many times) and stranger matching (where groups change continuously), feedback may work as a nonmonetary sanctioning device, but only the former also allows for strategic signaling. Empirical evidence on the two explanations is mixed. Moreover, the usual design may give rise to confounding matching protocol effects.
My experiment provides a novel empirical testbed for different channels by which feedback – costless disapproval points – may affect behavior in a repeated public goods game. In particular, it is based on a random matching scheme that neutralizes the confounding effects of different matching protocols on behavior.
The transmission of feedback is found to foster prosocial behavior. The data favor the nonmonetary sanctioning explanation rather than the signaling hypothesis.
This study provides a novel set of evidence that (i) communication may mitigate selfishness in social dilemmas and (ii) the source of this phenomenon may be linked to the emotional reaction that communication evokes in humans.
We investigated the effect of religion on generosity, interpersonal trust, and cooperation by using games developed by experimental economists (Dictator, Trust, and Public…
We investigated the effect of religion on generosity, interpersonal trust, and cooperation by using games developed by experimental economists (Dictator, Trust, and Public Goods). In these experiments, individuals were paired or grouped with unknown strangers to test the degree to which religion promotes prosocial behavior. We evaluated group- and individual-level effects of religion on prosocial behavior across the three games. Although playing the games in a religious setting showed no overall difference as compared to a secular setting, we did find a weak association between some individual-level dimensions of religiosity and behavior in some of the games. The weak association between religion and behavior is consistent with theory and empirical studies using similar measures – the anonymous pairing and grouping of the economic games may moderate individual-level effects of religion. Our research is a strong complement to the empirical literature because the three studies involved a large and diverse sample and used sensitive instruments that have been found to reliably measure prosocial behavior.
The Balinese have been successful for centuries in sustaining cooperation among the members of local communities in order to provide public goods through individual contributions. The purpose of this paper is to review and highlight the Balinese mechanism's remarkable features.
The paper surveyed the experimental literature on public goods and highlighted those features of the Balinese tradition that have been proven to be both effective in the experimental laboratory and successful in deterring free‐riding on the field.
The most prominent features discussed are decentralization, democratic decision making, the use of two currencies, supervision, and the possibility of imposing severe sanctions for free‐riding.
The paper's findings not only can help to preserve the high level of cooperation among inhabitants in Bali threatened by migration flows and the increasingly intense reliance on the market mechanism, but they also provide general insights both for theoreticians and practitioners on how to create successful communities. In addition, the literature review sheds light on several features of public‐good games that have not been satisfactorily explored yet by experimental economists.
The novelty of the paper's approach lies in looking at the Balinese tradition through the glasses of mechanism design theory and aligning the related findings of experimental economics in order to understand its success and problems.
We suggest that globalization, a process that fosters greater interdependence and mutual awareness among actors around the world in their economic, political, social, and…
We suggest that globalization, a process that fosters greater interdependence and mutual awareness among actors around the world in their economic, political, social, and cultural interactions, will also decrease the social distance among them and thus increase individuals' propensities to cooperate with distal others. We demonstrate in a multi-country public goods experiment that among the four domains of individual participation in globalization, economic participation in globalization has the least effect in prompting cooperation. Conversely, the other three domains of globalization have strong effects on individual cooperation, and this is robust to different specifications of the econometric model.
In this study we aim to examine a Durkheimian solution to the problem of social cooperation. Drawing on relevant literature on rituals and social solidarity, we make a…
In this study we aim to examine a Durkheimian solution to the problem of social cooperation. Drawing on relevant literature on rituals and social solidarity, we make a case that both synchronous and complementary ritualistic acts can promote social cooperation by strengthening solidarity.
We used a lab experiment in which participants performed either synchronous, complementary, or uncoordinated group drumming. After the drumming, they self-reported their positive affect, feeling of being in the same group and trust. Then they played a five-round public goods game in which their levels of cooperation were observed.
We found both synchrony and complementarity help sustain group cooperation. Participants who drummed synchronously or complementarily contributed more to the public good than those in the baseline condition, especially in later rounds of the game. Individuals in the synchronous and complementary conditions also showed stronger feelings of being in the same group. Mediation analysis confirmed that the effects of ritual performance on cooperation are partially mediated by feelings of same-groupness.
Results of our study imply that ritual performance based on either members’ similarities or complementary differences can promote group solidarity and cooperation.
The study supports the classic Durkheimian solution to the problem of social cooperation. Consistent with recent research, we find the causal effect of synchrony on cooperation. Moreover, our new test of the effect of complementarity shows that being different but mutually supportive can effectively enhance solidarity and cooperation as well.