In this paper, we investigate the importance of empirical and normative expectations for cooperative behavior. We conduct two experimental studies (n = 243) in which we separately elicit (i) behavior in a public goods game and (ii) normative and empirical expectations of cooperation. In a situation where others’ contributions are known, we find a strong norm of conditional cooperation whereby people find it socially appropriate to match others contribution and believe others to comply with such rule of behavior. In contrast, when there is strategic uncertainty regarding others’ behavior, empirical and normative expectations diverge substantially. While individuals believe that contributing fully to the public good is the most appropriate action, they expect others to contribute only half of their resources. This renders normative expectations unpredictive for average behavior and underlines the importance of a close alignment of empirical and normative expectations for the influence of social norms on behavior.

The influence of empirical and normative expectations on cooperation

Quercia, Simone
2021

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the importance of empirical and normative expectations for cooperative behavior. We conduct two experimental studies (n = 243) in which we separately elicit (i) behavior in a public goods game and (ii) normative and empirical expectations of cooperation. In a situation where others’ contributions are known, we find a strong norm of conditional cooperation whereby people find it socially appropriate to match others contribution and believe others to comply with such rule of behavior. In contrast, when there is strategic uncertainty regarding others’ behavior, empirical and normative expectations diverge substantially. While individuals believe that contributing fully to the public good is the most appropriate action, they expect others to contribute only half of their resources. This renders normative expectations unpredictive for average behavior and underlines the importance of a close alignment of empirical and normative expectations for the influence of social norms on behavior.
Cooperation, Social norms, Expectations, Public goods, Experiment
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1047818
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