Amegashie, J. Atsu (2006): Intentions, Insincerity, and Prosocial Behavior.
Download (188kB) | Preview
Consider a world with two people, 1 and 2, where person 1 (the proposer) may offer to help person 2 (the responder). The proposer may be altruistic towards the responder either out of a genuine desire to make her happy or out of guilt. The responder derives disutility from apparent acts of altruism motivated by guilt because she considers them to be insincere. She rejects some offers, depending on her beliefs about the proposer’s type. I model this social interaction as a game with interdependent preference types under incomplete information where the responder cares about the intentions behind the proposer’s prosocial behavior. I consider two recent formulations of endogenous guilt: simple guilt and guilt from blame. These formulations make the social interaction a psychological game. I find that the beliefs held by the players can lead to an equilibrium in which all offers are sincere and so no mutually beneficial trades are rejected, although the responder has incomplete information about the proposer’s type. Equilibria with insincere offers are possible under simple guilt but are impossible under guilt from blame. I discuss intrinsic and instrumental motivations for sincerity. I also discuss the implications of insincerity aversion for co-operation, altruism, political correctness, choice of identity, and trust.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Institution:||University of Guelph|
|Original Title:||Intentions, Insincerity, and Prosocial Behavior|
|Keywords:||guilt; intentions; insincerity; interdependent preference types; psychological game; social interaction|
|Subjects:||Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology
Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology > Z13 - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
|Depositing User:||J. Atsu Amegashie|
|Date Deposited:||14. May 2007|
|Last Modified:||13. Feb 2013 10:19|
Akerlof, G., and Kranton, R. (2000). Economics and Identity. Quarterly Journal of Economics CXV: 715-753.
Andreoni, J. (2006). Philanthropy. In Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism. Serge-Christophe Kolm and Jean Mercier Ythier (Eds).
Ayres, I., and Klass, G. (2004). Promissory Fraud without Breach. Wisconsin Law Review 507: 507-534.
Ayres, I., and Klass, G. (2005). Insincere Promises: the Law of Misrepresented Intent. Yale University Press.
Battigalli, P., and Dufwenberg, M. (2005). Dynamic Psychological Games. http://www.u.arizona.edu/~martind1/Papers-Documents/dpg.pdf
Battigalli, P., and Dufwenberg, M. (2006). Guilt in Games. American Economic Review, papers and proceedings, forthcoming. http://www.u.arizona.edu/~martind1/Papers-Documents/gig.pdf
Baumeister, R.F., Stillwell, A.M., and Heatherton, T.F. (1994). Guilt: an interpersonal approach. Psychological Bulletin 115: 243-267. Baumeister, R.F. (1998). The self. In D.T. Gilbert, S.T. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology (4th ed.; pp. 680-740). New York: McGraw-Hill. Baumeister, R.F. (1999). The Self in Social Psychology. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press (Taylor & Francis). Benabou, R., and Tirole, J. (2006a). Incentives and prosocial behavior. American Economic Review 96: 1652-1678.
Benabou, R., and Tirole, J. (2006b). A cognitive theory of identity, dignity, and taboos. http://www.wws.princeton.edu/rbenabou/identity%20october%20b.pdf
Bernheim, B.D. (1994). A Theory of Conformity. Journal of Political Economy 102: 841-877.
Brandts, J., and Sola, C. (2001). Reference Points and Negative Reciprocity in Simple Sequential Games, Games and Economic Behavior 36: 138–157.
Brunnermeier, M.K., and Parker, J.A. (2005). Optimal expectations. American Economic Review 95: 1092-1118.
Case, M.A. (2003). Developing a Taste for not Being Discriminated Against. Stanford Law Review 55: 2273-2291.
Charness, G., and Dufwenberg, M. (2006). Promises and partnerships. Econometrica 74: 1579-1601.
Darity, W.A., Mason, P.L., and Stewart, J.B. (2006). The Economics of Identity: The Origin and Persistence of Racial Identity Norms. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 60: 283-305.
Dufwenberg, M. (2002). Marital Investments, Time Consistency, and Emotions. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 48: 57-69.
Falk, A., Fehr, E., and Fischbacher, U. (2000). Testing Theories of Fairness - Intentions Matter. Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Zürich, Working Paper No. 63. http://www.iew.unizh.ch/wp/iewwp063.pdf
Falk, A., Fehr, E., and Fischbacher, U. (2003). On the Nature of Fair Behavior. Economic Inquiry 41: 20–26
Falk, A., and Fischbacher, U. (2006). A Theory of Reciprocity. Games and Economic Behavior 54: 293-315.
Fehr, E., and Schmidt, K. (2006). The Economics of Fairness, Reciprocity and Altruism - Experimental Evidence and New Theories. In Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism. Serge-Christophe Kolm and Jean Mercier Ythier (Eds).
Frey, B. (1997). Not Just for the Money: An Economic Theory of Personal Motivation. Cheltenhem: Edward Elgar.
Geanakoplos, J., Pearce, D., and Stachetti, E. (1989). Psychological Games and Sequential Rationality. Games and Economic Behavior 1: 60-79.
Glazer, A., and Konrad, K.A. (1996). A Signaling Explanation for Charity. American Economic Review 86: 1019-1028.
Gul, F., and Pesendorfer (2005). The canonical type space for interdependent preferences. http://www.princeton.edu/~pesendor/interdependent.pdf
Hill, C., and O’Hara, E.A. (2007). A Cognitive Theory of Trust. Washington University Law Quarterly, forthcoming. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=869423
Huang, P.H., and Wu, H-M. (1994). More Order without More Law: A Theory of Social Norms and Organizational Cultures. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 10: 390-406.
Huang, P.H. (2003). Trust, Guilt and Securities Regulation. University of Pennsylvania Law Review 151: 1059-1095.
Kang, J.M. (2003a). The uses of insincerity: Thomas Hobbes’s theory of law and society. Law & Literature 15: 371-393.
Kang, J.M. (2003b). The case for insincerity. Studies in Law, Politics and Society 29: 143-164.
Kartik, N., and McAfee, R.P. (2006). Signaling character in electoral competition. American Economic Review, forthcoming. Kuran, T. (1993). Mitigating the tyranny of public opinion: Anonymous discourse and the ethic of sincerity. Constitutional Political Economy 3: 41-74. Laibson, D., Glaeser, E.L., Scheinkman, J., and Soutter, C. (2000). Measuring trust. Quarterly Journal of Economics 115: 811-846.
Levine, D.K. (1998). Modeling altruism and spitefulness in experiments. Review of Economic Dynamics 1: 593-622.
Loury, G.C. (1994). Self-Censorship in Public Discourse: A Theory of “Political Correctness” and Related Phenomena. Rationality and Society 6:428-461. Markovits, E. (2006) . The Trouble with Being Earnest: Deliberative Democracy and the Sincerity Norm. Journal of Political Philosophy 14: 249-269. McCabe, K., Rigdon, M., and Smith, V. (2003). Positive Reciprocity and Intentions in Trust Games, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. 52: 267–275.
Morris, S. (2001). Political correctness. Journal of Political Economy 109: 231-265.
Offerman, T. (2002). Hurting Hurts More than Helping Helps: The Role of the Self-Serving Bias. European Economic Review 46: 1423–1437.
Rabin, M. (1993). Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics. American Economic Review 83: 1281-1302.
Rabin, M., and O’Donoghue, T. (1999). Doing it now or later. American Economic Review 89: 103-124.
Ridge, M. (2006). Sincerity and Expressivism. Philosophical Studies 131: 487-510.
Searle, J. (1969). Speech Acts: an Essay into the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Shklar, J.N. (1984). Ordinary vices. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
Tangney, J.P. (1992). Situational determinants of shame and guilt in young adulthood. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 18: 199-206.
Walker, A.D.M. (1978). The Ideal of Sincerity. Mi
Available Versions of this Item
- Intentions, Insincerity, and Prosocial Behavior. (deposited 14. May 2007) [Currently Displayed]