Image Concerns and Generosity: Field Evidence and Predictions

73 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2023

See all articles by Minah H. Jung

Minah H. Jung

New York University

Silvia Saccardo

Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Social and Decision Sciences

Ayelet Gneezy

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Leif D. Nelson

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Date Written: January 13, 2023

Abstract

Prior theoretical and empirical work suggests that behavioral interventions designed to amplify image concerns promote generosity. Consumer elective pricing — where individuals choose how much to pay for products and services — provides a unique opportunity for evaluating the effectiveness of different interventions in the field. We report data from nine field and one lab experiments (N= 3,192) conducted in nonprofit and for-profit settings, where we test how different image concern manipulations that have been previously shown to influence prosocial behavior affect payments. For each of the 10 experiments, we report corresponding forecasts generated by a separate set of participants (N = 1,592) about how the different manipulations influence generosity. In line with the findings from prior literature, lay individuals presented expect large effects under image manipulations. Yet, in contrast with these predictions and with past literature, we find small or no effects of such manipulations. We discuss implications for policymakers and researchers, who may rely on prior findings to make predictions about the effect of behavioral interventions.

Keywords: image concerns, signaling effect, field experiments, pay what you want, forecasting

Suggested Citation

Jung, Minah H. and Saccardo, Silvia and Gneezy, Ayelet and Nelson, Leif D., Image Concerns and Generosity: Field Evidence and Predictions (January 13, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4323906 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4323906

Minah H. Jung (Contact Author)

New York University ( email )

Henry Kaufman Ctr
44 W 4 St.
New York, NY
United States

HOME PAGE: http://minahjung.com

Silvia Saccardo

Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Social and Decision Sciences ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Ayelet Gneezy

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Leif D. Nelson

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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