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Dictator Game Giving: The Importance of Descriptive versus Injunctive Norms.

Raihani NJ, McAuliffe K - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Specifying a higher target amount was associated with increased mean donation size.In contrast to previous studies, descriptive norms did not seem to influence giving behaviour in this context, whereas injunctive norms were associated with increased likelihood to give at least the target amount to the partner.This raises the question of whether injunctive norms might be more effective than descriptive norms at promoting prosocial behaviour in other settings.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Human behaviour is influenced by social norms but norms can entail two types of information. Descriptive norms refer to what others do in this context, while injunctive norms refer to what ought to be done to ensure social approval. In many real-world situations these norms are often presented concurrently meaning that their independent effects on behaviour are difficult to establish. Here we used an online Dictator Game to test how descriptive and injunctive norms would influence dictator donations when presented independently of one another. In addition, we varied the cost of complying with the norm: By stating that $0.20 or $0.50 cent donations from a $1 stake were normal or suggested, respectively. Specifying a higher target amount was associated with increased mean donation size. In contrast to previous studies, descriptive norms did not seem to influence giving behaviour in this context, whereas injunctive norms were associated with increased likelihood to give at least the target amount to the partner. This raises the question of whether injunctive norms might be more effective than descriptive norms at promoting prosocial behaviour in other settings.

No MeSH data available.


Numbers of Player 1 who complied with the norm to give (a) at least $0.20 or (b) at least $0.50 to Player 2 according to the type of norm information that was used in the instructions.Control data are those where no norm information was shown.
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pone-0113826-g002: Numbers of Player 1 who complied with the norm to give (a) at least $0.20 or (b) at least $0.50 to Player 2 according to the type of norm information that was used in the instructions.Control data are those where no norm information was shown.

Mentions: Injunctive norms were associated with increased compliance relative to controls, both when the target amount was $0.20 (effect size: 0.55±0.23; Table 1) and when the target amount was $0.50 (effect size: 0.96±0.21; Tables 2 & 3; Fig. 2). By contrast, relative to controls, there was no evidence that descriptive norms increased compliance when the target amount was $0.20 (effect size: 0.09±0.22; Table 1). The effect of descriptive norms (relative to controls) seemed to be slightly stronger in the ‘give $0.50’ condition (effect size: 0.35±0.21) but the confidence intervals for this effect still spanned zero (Table 3; Fig. 2). Males were less likely than females to comply with the ‘give $0.20’ norm but this gender effect was not replicated in the ‘give $0.50’ condition. Similarly, we found a positive effect of age on tendency to comply with the ‘give $0.20’ norm (Table 1) but the effect was only marginal in the ‘give $0.50’ condition (Table 3). Mean donations increased when a higher target amount was specified (Tables 4 & 5) regardless of whether the target was specified via a descriptive or an injunctive norm. Supporting the previous analyses, men tended to make smaller mean donations than women and mean donation size increased with age (Tables 4 & 5).


Dictator Game Giving: The Importance of Descriptive versus Injunctive Norms.

Raihani NJ, McAuliffe K - PLoS ONE (2014)

Numbers of Player 1 who complied with the norm to give (a) at least $0.20 or (b) at least $0.50 to Player 2 according to the type of norm information that was used in the instructions.Control data are those where no norm information was shown.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4262257&req=5

pone-0113826-g002: Numbers of Player 1 who complied with the norm to give (a) at least $0.20 or (b) at least $0.50 to Player 2 according to the type of norm information that was used in the instructions.Control data are those where no norm information was shown.
Mentions: Injunctive norms were associated with increased compliance relative to controls, both when the target amount was $0.20 (effect size: 0.55±0.23; Table 1) and when the target amount was $0.50 (effect size: 0.96±0.21; Tables 2 & 3; Fig. 2). By contrast, relative to controls, there was no evidence that descriptive norms increased compliance when the target amount was $0.20 (effect size: 0.09±0.22; Table 1). The effect of descriptive norms (relative to controls) seemed to be slightly stronger in the ‘give $0.50’ condition (effect size: 0.35±0.21) but the confidence intervals for this effect still spanned zero (Table 3; Fig. 2). Males were less likely than females to comply with the ‘give $0.20’ norm but this gender effect was not replicated in the ‘give $0.50’ condition. Similarly, we found a positive effect of age on tendency to comply with the ‘give $0.20’ norm (Table 1) but the effect was only marginal in the ‘give $0.50’ condition (Table 3). Mean donations increased when a higher target amount was specified (Tables 4 & 5) regardless of whether the target was specified via a descriptive or an injunctive norm. Supporting the previous analyses, men tended to make smaller mean donations than women and mean donation size increased with age (Tables 4 & 5).

Bottom Line: Specifying a higher target amount was associated with increased mean donation size.In contrast to previous studies, descriptive norms did not seem to influence giving behaviour in this context, whereas injunctive norms were associated with increased likelihood to give at least the target amount to the partner.This raises the question of whether injunctive norms might be more effective than descriptive norms at promoting prosocial behaviour in other settings.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Human behaviour is influenced by social norms but norms can entail two types of information. Descriptive norms refer to what others do in this context, while injunctive norms refer to what ought to be done to ensure social approval. In many real-world situations these norms are often presented concurrently meaning that their independent effects on behaviour are difficult to establish. Here we used an online Dictator Game to test how descriptive and injunctive norms would influence dictator donations when presented independently of one another. In addition, we varied the cost of complying with the norm: By stating that $0.20 or $0.50 cent donations from a $1 stake were normal or suggested, respectively. Specifying a higher target amount was associated with increased mean donation size. In contrast to previous studies, descriptive norms did not seem to influence giving behaviour in this context, whereas injunctive norms were associated with increased likelihood to give at least the target amount to the partner. This raises the question of whether injunctive norms might be more effective than descriptive norms at promoting prosocial behaviour in other settings.

No MeSH data available.