Fairness perceptions and prosocial emotions in the power to take

Ernesto Reuben, Frans van Winden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This experimental study investigates how behavior changes after receiving punishment. The focus is on how proposers in a power-to-take game adjust their behavior depending on their fairness perceptions, their experienced emotions, and their interaction with responders. We find that fairness plays an important role: proposers who take what they consider to be an unfair amount experience higher intensities of prosocial emotions (shame and guilt), particularly if they are punished. This emotional experience induces proposers to lower their claims. We also find that fairness perceptions vary considerably between individuals. Therefore, it is not necessarily the case that proposers who considered themselves fair are taking less from responders than other proposers. Lastly, we provide evidence that suggests that eliciting emotions through self-reports does not affect subsequent behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)908-922
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Fairness
  • Guilt
  • Power-to-take game
  • Proposers
  • Prosocial emotions
  • Punishment
  • Shame

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

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