Reconciling Pro-Social vs. Selfish Behavior: Evidence for the Role of Self-Control
Published in Judgment and Decision Making, 7(3): 304-315
64 Pages Posted: 25 May 2010 Last revised: 5 Mar 2013
Date Written: July 9, 2010
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.
Keywords: self-control, pro-social behavior, altruism, experiment
JEL Classification: D01, D03, D64, D70
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation