Natural and strategic generosity as signals of trustworthiness
PLOS one, 2014, Vol. 9, No. 5, online
GAMBETTA, Diego, PRZEPIORKA, Wojtek, Natural and strategic generosity as signals of trustworthiness, PLOS one, 2014, Vol. 9, No. 5, online - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/33963
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
We exploit the fact that generosity and trustworthiness are highly correlated and the former can thus be a sign of the latter. Subjects decide between a generous and a mean split in a dictator game. Some of them are informed from the start that afterwards they will participate in a trust game and that their choice in the dictator game may matter; others are not informed in advance. In the trust game, before trusters decide whether or not to trust, some trustees can reveal (or conceal) only their true choice in the dictator game, while others can say to trusters, truthfully or otherwise, what they chose. We find that a generous choice made naturally by uninformed trustees and reliably revealed is more effective in persuading trusters to trust than a generous choice that could be strategic or a lie. Moreover, we find that, when they can, mean subjects lie and go on to be untrustworthy.
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/33963
Full-text via DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097533
Publisher: Public Library Science
Keyword(s): Competitive altruism experimental tests partner choice trust game reciprocity reputation cooperation evolution cues preferences
Sponsorship and Funder information:
This research was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, grant number 100017_124877 (http://www.snf.ch), and the Nuffield College financial office (http://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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