Profit versus Prejudice: Harnessing Self-Interest to Reduce In-Group Bias

Social Psychological and Personality Science, Forthcoming

29 Pages Posted: 25 May 2016 Last revised: 17 Feb 2017

See all articles by Michael Stagnaro

Michael Stagnaro

Yale University - Department of Psychology

Yarrow Dunham

Yale University

David G. Rand

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Date Written: February 15, 2017

Abstract

We examine the possibility that self-interest, typically thought to undermine social welfare, might actually be harnessed to reduce in-group bias. We compare behavior in a Dictator Game (DG), where participants unilaterally divide money between themselves and a recipient, and an Ultimatum Game (UG), where the recipient can reject the offer. Unlike the DG, there is a self-interested motive for giving in the UG: if participants expect the rejection of unfair offers, they have a monetary incentive to be fair even to out-group members. Thus we predicted that bias would be evident in the DG, but would be mitigated in the UG. We test this hypothesis in two studies (total N=3,546) employing a 2 (In-group/out-group, based on attitudes toward abortion) x 2 (DG/UG) design. As predicted, we found a significant group by game interaction such that the substantial in-group favoritism observed in the DG was almost entirely eliminated in the UG.

Keywords: Intergroup processes; Economic Games; Self Interest; In-group favoritism; Discrimination

Suggested Citation

Stagnaro, Michael and Dunham, Yarrow and Rand, David G., Profit versus Prejudice: Harnessing Self-Interest to Reduce In-Group Bias (February 15, 2017). Social Psychological and Personality Science, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2782897 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2782897

Michael Stagnaro (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Psychology ( email )

P.O. Box 208205
New Haven, CT 06520-8205
United States

Yarrow Dunham

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

HOME PAGE: http://socialcogdev.com

David G. Rand

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.daverand.org

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
103
Abstract Views
579
rank
269,316
PlumX Metrics