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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1892805
 
 

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Social Influence and Collective Action: An Experiment Investigating the Effects of Visibility and Social Information Moderated by Personality


Helen Zerlina Margetts


Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Peter John


University College London - School of Public Policy

Stephane Reissfelder


University of Oxford - Nuffield College

Scott A. Hale


Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

November 25, 2012


Abstract:     
This paper examines experimentally the effects of two forms of social influence — visibility and social information about the contributions of others — on collective action in a step-level public goods game. We find that visibility has an aggregate positive impact on individual contributions, but social information does not. However, both visibility and social information positively affect the overall likelihood of a collective good being funded, implying that social information induces strategic behaviour and more efficient use of resources. Individual difference variables relating to personality and personal values help to explain treatment effects. Social value orientation predicts differential responses to both treatments, while of the ‘Big Five’ personality traits, agreeableness and extraversion help to predict the impact of visibility.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: social information, social pressure, collective action, laboratory experiment

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Date posted: July 23, 2011 ; Last revised: February 26, 2013

Suggested Citation

Margetts, Helen Zerlina and John, Peter and Reissfelder, Stephane and Hale, Scott A., Social Influence and Collective Action: An Experiment Investigating the Effects of Visibility and Social Information Moderated by Personality (November 25, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1892805 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1892805

Contact Information

Helen Zerlina Margetts
Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford ( email )
1 St Giles
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk
Peter John (Contact Author)
University College London - School of Public Policy ( email )
29/30 Tavistock Square
London, WC1H 9QU
United Kingdom
Stephane Reissfelder
University of Oxford - Nuffield College ( email )
New Road
Oxford, OX1 1NF
United Kingdom
Scott A. Hale
Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford ( email )
1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://www.scotthale.net/
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