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Normative expectations essay

From an experimental point of view, however, being able to control the information that subjects can access and the way they form and update their beliefs is more difficult.


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Notwithstanding how much anonymity is protected and how difficult it is to infer something about others, subjects may still take into account what others might think of them. One way out of this methodological complexity is to create a design in which subjects, who are mainly driven by one motivation will choose differently from those driven by another one. Our second requirement is then to have a design matching this feature. Finally, since we are concerned with social norm compliance, there should be a reliable way to make a social norm sufficiently salient for subjects Cialdini et al.

A typical way in which a social norm can be made salient is if subjects are allowed to engage in pre-play verbal communication by sending, for instance, a written message. According to Bicchieri , for instance, verbal communication typically inflates cooperation rates in social dilemma kind of situations for reviews see Sally, and Balliet, precisely because it has the effect of making specific behavioral rules situationally salient for participants, and this effect induces the individuals to orient their attention to the strategies prescribed by such rules see also Andrighetto et al.

Thus, our third and last requirement is that of using verbal communication to make a social norm salient between the subjects. Given the role that psychological game theory plays in their experiment and the use of communication, this design offers an ideal starting point for our aims. Figure 1. The risky Trust game of Charness and Dufwenberg The dashed arrow means that the trustee B can unilaterally send a message to the trustor A.

Payoffs are expressed in Euros. By choosing the IN option, the amount of money transferred to B is multiplied. Before making this decision, each B has the possibility to send a non-binding message to his matched A. The hidden action component and the use of communication match well with our requirements 1 the need to control for ex-ante and ex-post information about belief of others and 3 the use of verbal communication to make a social norm salient.

Unfortunately, these features are not sufficient to disentangle the role of the desire for esteem from the intrinsic desire to meet others' expectations since both types of subjects might choose the same actions in contrast with our requirement 2 First, we have made the action chosen by B observable. Tadelis and Bracht and Regner have contrasted the risky Trust game with and without exposure since the former, but not the latter, allows exploring a concern for ex-post perception, i.

In addition to exposure, moreover, we have also added the possibility for B players to misinform their matched A about their actual choice. In particular, in our design, each B subject had the option to deceive the matched A subject. In particular, each B could decide to pay a cost for letting the matched A believe that a bad outcome was due to an unlucky dice roll and not to B's choice to keep the whole pot for himself.

Since only B players were informed of this exit option, the resulting game was one of incomplete information in which the structure of the social interaction was not common knowledge see Figure 2. As with exposure, the exit option has been introduced to manipulate A's ex-post information, and should thus be appealing to players who are motivated by others' esteem but not to those who mainly care for not disappointing others' expectations per se.

As a consequence, in our design with the costly exit option, B players who chose the cooperative outcome i. Finally, since, as we have suggested above, this desire can be understood in two different ways—as guilt aversion or as perceived legitimacy—we have also measured both empirical and normative expectations of participants. By identifying which expectation was in fact related to actual behavior, measuring expectations has been crucial to determine the motivation that is more relevant for different types of subjects see below, for further details.

As a consequence, the replication has provided an indirect validation of our new design. In particular, B subjects had the option to let As believe that their outcome 0 has been the result of an unlucky dice roll instead of the consequence of B's deterministic choice not to roll. In the Message treatment, we have employed the risky trust game with exposure and communication but without the exit option.

Figure 3 summarizes the timeline of the three main treatments and highlights the relevant manipulations.

Student essays expressing historical thinking: A quantitative and Ingenta Connect

Figure 3. Timeline of the three main treatments used in the experiment.