Reconciling Pro-Social vs. Selfish Behavior: Evidence for the Role of Self-Control
University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics
Kristian Ove R. Myrseth
ESMT European School of Management and Technology
Conny E. Wollbrant
Göteborg University - School of Business, Economics and Law
July 9, 2010
Published in Judgment and Decision Making, 7(3): 304-315
ESMT Working Paper No. 10-003 (R1)
We test the proposition that individuals may experience a self-control conflict between short-term temptation to be selfish and better judgment to act pro-socially. Using a dictator game and a public goods game, we manipulated the likelihood that individuals identified self-control conflict, and we measured their trait ability to implement self-control strategies. Consistent with our hypothesis, we find that trait self-control exhibits a positive and significant correlation with pro-social behavior in the treatment that raises likelihood of conflict identification, but not in the treatment that reduces likelihood of conflict identification.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 64
Keywords: self-control, pro-social behavior, altruism, experiment
JEL Classification: D01, D03, D64, D70Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 25, 2010 ; Last revised: March 5, 2013
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