The Effect of Communication Channels on Promise-Making and Promise-Keeping
19 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2014
This paper investigates the effect of different communication channels on promise-making and promise-keeping in a helping situation. Four treatments differ with respect to the communication channel employed to solicit unincentivized cooperation, i.e., face-to-face, phone call and two different sorts of computer-mediated communication. The less anonymous (face-to-face, phone) the interpersonal interaction is due to the different communication channels, the higher the propensity of an agent to make a promise. Treatment effects, however, vanish if we then look at the actual promise-keeping rates across treatments as more anonymous channels (computer-mediated) do not perform relatively worse than more direct channels.
Keywords: promises, communication, experimental economics, organizational behavior, behavioral ethics
JEL Classification: D02, D83, C91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation