Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/101862
Authors: 
Oxoby, Robert J.
Smith, Alexander
Year of Publication: 
2014
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 8310
Abstract: 
We explore the role of cognitive dissonance in dictator and public goods games. Specifically, we motivate cognitive dissonance between one's perception of “fair treatment” and self-interested behaviour by having participants answer a question about fairness. Utilizing two manipulations (reminding participants about their answer to the fairness question and publicly reporting aggregate answers to the question), we find that there is greater cognitive dissonance and behavioural change when there is a social component (i.e., reporting of aggregate answers). When a participant's answer to the fairness question is private, there is less dissonance and hence no behavioural change.
Subjects: 
cognitive dissonance
experiments
social preferences
JEL: 
C91
D64
H41
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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