Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2021: Climate Economics
ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, Kiel, Hamburg
Does social identity affect how decision makers consume and digest new information? We study this question through a theoretically informed experiment, employing a variant of the sender receiver game in which receivers can purchase reports from up to two senders. Depending on senders' preferences for truth-telling, reports are either informative or not. In the baseline condition of our experiment, receivers observe senders' incentives for reporting truthfully. In the treatment condition receivers additionally observe whether they share a group identity with the sender. Group identities are induced via a standard minimal group paradigm. We find that senders behave in line with a model that assumes senders incur a positive lying cost. Making social identity observable significantly affects information acquisition and makes receivers more prone to ignore potentially informative outgroup reports. This is especially the case when outgroup senders have higher incentives for truthtelling. This change in information acquisition has implications for optimal decision making: it negatively affects receivers' ability to correctly infer the true state of world.
Misinformation Social Identity Sender-Receiver Game Fake News Information