Abstract

Altruism is one of the single most important social preferences driving human behaviour. In Psychology experiments, the Social Discounting Task is employed as a measure of altruism. A conventional laboratory experiment was conducted with 117 undergraduate students, with students randomly assigned to complete an incentivized and un-incentivized Social Discounting Task. In accordance with the 1/d law of giving, the results exhibit the expected inverse relationship between social distance and altruism. There is weak evidence that incentivizing the Social Discounting Task impacts the measurement of altruism in a student population. More specifically, subjects are more altruistic when incentivized, possibly due to enforced reciprocity. At the same time, making payments real influence the identity of the target recipients: paying makes subjects more likely to choose people who are physically and psychologically close at high ranks, and more likely to report greater physical and psychological distance to subjects at lower ranks. Further research is required to verify the robustness of this result. The study also shows that among students family members are more altruistic toward each other as are those exhibiting greater intergenerational solidarity. Preferences for altruism in this student population is no different from WEIRD subject populations.JEL Classification Codes: C91, D64http://www.grips.ac.jp/list/jp/facultyinfo/munro_alistair

Similar works

Full text

thumbnail-image

Insitutional Repository at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies

Provided a free PDF
oai:grips.repo.nii.ac.jp:00001546Last time updated on 4/12/2017View original full text link

Having an issue?

Is data on this page outdated, violates copyrights or anything else? Report the problem now and we will take corresponding actions after reviewing your request.