Limits...
Physiological and behavioral patterns of corruption.

Jaber-López T, García-Gallego A, Perakakis P, Georgantzis N - Front Behav Neurosci (2014)

Bottom Line: The inspection and punishment mechanism is such that, if a bribe is (not) revealed, both corrupt agents (the denouncing bidder) lose(s) this period's payoffs.Generally speaking, our findings suggest that stronger emotions are associated with decisions deviating from pure monetary reward maximization, rather than with (un)ethical behavior per se.In fact, using response times as a measure of the subject's reflection during the decision-making process, we can associate emotional arousal with the conflict between primary or instinctive and secondary or contemplative motivations and, more specifically, with deviations from the subject's pure monetary interest.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratorio de Economía Experimental, Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I Castellón, Spain.

ABSTRACT
We study the behavior and emotional arousal of the participants in an experimental auction, leading to an asymmetric social dilemma involving an auctioneer and two bidders. An antisocial transfer (bribe) which is beneficial for the auctioneer (official) is paid, if promised, by the winner of the auction. Some pro-social behavior on both the auctioneers' and the bidders' sides is observed even in the absence of any punishment mechanism (Baseline, Treatment 0). However, pro-social behavior is adopted by the vast majority of subjects when the loser of the auction can inspect the transaction between the winner and the auctioneer (Inspection, Treatment 1). The inspection and punishment mechanism is such that, if a bribe is (not) revealed, both corrupt agents (the denouncing bidder) lose(s) this period's payoffs. This renders the inspection option unprofitable for the loser and is rarely used, especially toward the end of the session, when pro-social behavior becomes pervasive. Subjects' emotional arousal was obtained through skin conductance responses. Generally speaking, our findings suggest that stronger emotions are associated with decisions deviating from pure monetary reward maximization, rather than with (un)ethical behavior per se. In fact, using response times as a measure of the subject's reflection during the decision-making process, we can associate emotional arousal with the conflict between primary or instinctive and secondary or contemplative motivations and, more specifically, with deviations from the subject's pure monetary interest.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Response times for T1. (A) Bribe vs Quality maximization (officials). (B) Bribe vs No Bribe (firms). (C) Inspection vs No Inspection.
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Figure 4: Response times for T1. (A) Bribe vs Quality maximization (officials). (B) Bribe vs No Bribe (firms). (C) Inspection vs No Inspection.

Mentions: We argue here that emotional arousal emerges from a conflict between monetary and ethical attractors of behavior. Thus, we would expect ethical decisions dictated by pro-social incentives to lead to emotional arousal if the corresponding decision contradicts the basic instinct of selfish monetary reward maximization. Our results are compatible with this view. First of all, we find a positive and significant correlation (Spearman ρ = 0.12, p < 0.01) between arousal and response times. To be more specific, in Figure 4 we plot the distribution of response times in the Inspection treatment per decision type. Recall that in this treatment, the majority choice was the pro-social one, because of the inspection risk. First, in Figure 4A it is seen that officials decide faster when they choose higher quality projects. Similarly, according to Figure 4B, bribing firms take longer to make their decisions. Finally, on Figure 4C we see that losers take less time to decide not to inspect than to inspect. In all these cases, the negative expected profit of the anti-social decision corresponds to higher emotional arousal, as shown by our SCR data. In few words, the more subjects do something against their expected monetary interest, the longer it takes for them to decide, presumably because of conflicting internal motivations.


Physiological and behavioral patterns of corruption.

Jaber-López T, García-Gallego A, Perakakis P, Georgantzis N - Front Behav Neurosci (2014)

Response times for T1. (A) Bribe vs Quality maximization (officials). (B) Bribe vs No Bribe (firms). (C) Inspection vs No Inspection.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4273640&req=5

Figure 4: Response times for T1. (A) Bribe vs Quality maximization (officials). (B) Bribe vs No Bribe (firms). (C) Inspection vs No Inspection.
Mentions: We argue here that emotional arousal emerges from a conflict between monetary and ethical attractors of behavior. Thus, we would expect ethical decisions dictated by pro-social incentives to lead to emotional arousal if the corresponding decision contradicts the basic instinct of selfish monetary reward maximization. Our results are compatible with this view. First of all, we find a positive and significant correlation (Spearman ρ = 0.12, p < 0.01) between arousal and response times. To be more specific, in Figure 4 we plot the distribution of response times in the Inspection treatment per decision type. Recall that in this treatment, the majority choice was the pro-social one, because of the inspection risk. First, in Figure 4A it is seen that officials decide faster when they choose higher quality projects. Similarly, according to Figure 4B, bribing firms take longer to make their decisions. Finally, on Figure 4C we see that losers take less time to decide not to inspect than to inspect. In all these cases, the negative expected profit of the anti-social decision corresponds to higher emotional arousal, as shown by our SCR data. In few words, the more subjects do something against their expected monetary interest, the longer it takes for them to decide, presumably because of conflicting internal motivations.

Bottom Line: The inspection and punishment mechanism is such that, if a bribe is (not) revealed, both corrupt agents (the denouncing bidder) lose(s) this period's payoffs.Generally speaking, our findings suggest that stronger emotions are associated with decisions deviating from pure monetary reward maximization, rather than with (un)ethical behavior per se.In fact, using response times as a measure of the subject's reflection during the decision-making process, we can associate emotional arousal with the conflict between primary or instinctive and secondary or contemplative motivations and, more specifically, with deviations from the subject's pure monetary interest.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratorio de Economía Experimental, Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I Castellón, Spain.

ABSTRACT
We study the behavior and emotional arousal of the participants in an experimental auction, leading to an asymmetric social dilemma involving an auctioneer and two bidders. An antisocial transfer (bribe) which is beneficial for the auctioneer (official) is paid, if promised, by the winner of the auction. Some pro-social behavior on both the auctioneers' and the bidders' sides is observed even in the absence of any punishment mechanism (Baseline, Treatment 0). However, pro-social behavior is adopted by the vast majority of subjects when the loser of the auction can inspect the transaction between the winner and the auctioneer (Inspection, Treatment 1). The inspection and punishment mechanism is such that, if a bribe is (not) revealed, both corrupt agents (the denouncing bidder) lose(s) this period's payoffs. This renders the inspection option unprofitable for the loser and is rarely used, especially toward the end of the session, when pro-social behavior becomes pervasive. Subjects' emotional arousal was obtained through skin conductance responses. Generally speaking, our findings suggest that stronger emotions are associated with decisions deviating from pure monetary reward maximization, rather than with (un)ethical behavior per se. In fact, using response times as a measure of the subject's reflection during the decision-making process, we can associate emotional arousal with the conflict between primary or instinctive and secondary or contemplative motivations and, more specifically, with deviations from the subject's pure monetary interest.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus