Combatting the Joy of Destruction with Pro-Social Behavior
27 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 8, 2016
In this experiment we examine the impact of hugs (a pro-social behavior) upon behavior in the Joy of Destruction (JoD) game. Previous research on JoD indicates that up to 40% of experimental participants will choose to lower another participant's earnings even in the absence of any incentive to do so. Building upon previous work indicating that hugs cause oxytocin to be released in the human brain, and that oxytocin can increase “moral” behavior, we hypothesize that hugging will reduce the spiteful behavior typically exhibited in the JoD. We find evidence to support this hypothesis. We also examine the role of personality, and find no correlation between scores on either the Big Five Inventory or the Mach-IV Inventory and behavior in the JoD.
Keywords: Joy of Destruction, Pro-Social Behavior, Oxytocin, Hug
JEL Classification: D64
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation