Priming Cooperation in Social Dilemma Games

41 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2010

See all articles by Michalis Drouvelis

Michalis Drouvelis

University of Birmingham - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute

Robert Metcalfe

Imperial College London

Nattavudh Powdthavee

University of Warwick

Abstract

Research on public goods mainly focuses its attention on the ability of incentives, beliefs and group structure to affect behaviour in social dilemma interactions. This paper investigates the pure effects of a rather subtle mechanism on social preferences in a one-shot linear public good game. Using priming techniques from social psychology, we activate the concept of cooperation and explore the extent to which this intervention brings about changes in peopleļ¾’s voluntary contributions to the public good and self-reported emotional responses. Our findings suggest that priming cooperation increases contribution levels, controlling for subjects' gender. Our priming effect is much stronger for females than for males. This difference can be explained by a shift in subjects' beliefs about contributions. We also find a significant impact of priming on mean positive emotional responses.

Keywords: priming, contributions, beliefs, emotional responses, public goods experiments

JEL Classification: C92, D01, H41

Suggested Citation

Drouvelis, Michalis and Metcalfe, Robert and Powdthavee, Nattavudh, Priming Cooperation in Social Dilemma Games. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4963, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1631098 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1631098

Michalis Drouvelis (Contact Author)

University of Birmingham - Department of Economics ( email )

Economics Department
Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/michalisdrouvelis/

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

Robert Metcalfe

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Nattavudh Powdthavee

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom
+44 (0)2476 528240 (Phone)

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