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Nudge for (the Public) Good: How Defaults Can Affect Cooperation.

Fosgaard TR, Piovesan M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: In this paper we test the effect of non-binding defaults on the level of contribution to a public good.Our results show that the vast majority of our subjects did not adopt the default numbers, but their stated strategy was affected by the default.Here we found that subjects who previously saw the free rider default were significantly less cooperative than those who saw the perfect conditional cooperator default.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.

ABSTRACT
In this paper we test the effect of non-binding defaults on the level of contribution to a public good. We manipulate the default numbers appearing on the decision screen to nudge subjects toward a free-rider strategy or a perfect conditional cooperator strategy. Our results show that the vast majority of our subjects did not adopt the default numbers, but their stated strategy was affected by the default. Moreover, we find that our manipulation spilled over to a subsequent repeated public goods game where default was not manipulated. Here we found that subjects who previously saw the free rider default were significantly less cooperative than those who saw the perfect conditional cooperator default.

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Timeline of our experiment.
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pone.0145488.g001: Timeline of our experiment.

Mentions: The experiment was conducted at the Laboratory for Experimental Economics (LEE) of the University of Copenhagen. A total of 227 first-year undergraduate economics students participated, aged from 18 to 36 (mean 20.5, sd 1.9). Subjects were entirely anonymous and no indication of their identity was collected during this study. The subjects had not participated in a public good experiment before. Upon arrival, the subjects were seated in individual booths and received written instructions about the public goods game. Then we informed the subjects that the experiment consisted of two parts and a final questionnaire. We asked control questions to ensure full comprehension before each part. The Supplementary Information reports the complete set of instructions, the control questions, and selected screenshots (S1 File). Fig 1 summarizes the timing of our experimental design with the exact sequence of tasks and decisions.


Nudge for (the Public) Good: How Defaults Can Affect Cooperation.

Fosgaard TR, Piovesan M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Timeline of our experiment.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4696855&req=5

pone.0145488.g001: Timeline of our experiment.
Mentions: The experiment was conducted at the Laboratory for Experimental Economics (LEE) of the University of Copenhagen. A total of 227 first-year undergraduate economics students participated, aged from 18 to 36 (mean 20.5, sd 1.9). Subjects were entirely anonymous and no indication of their identity was collected during this study. The subjects had not participated in a public good experiment before. Upon arrival, the subjects were seated in individual booths and received written instructions about the public goods game. Then we informed the subjects that the experiment consisted of two parts and a final questionnaire. We asked control questions to ensure full comprehension before each part. The Supplementary Information reports the complete set of instructions, the control questions, and selected screenshots (S1 File). Fig 1 summarizes the timing of our experimental design with the exact sequence of tasks and decisions.

Bottom Line: In this paper we test the effect of non-binding defaults on the level of contribution to a public good.Our results show that the vast majority of our subjects did not adopt the default numbers, but their stated strategy was affected by the default.Here we found that subjects who previously saw the free rider default were significantly less cooperative than those who saw the perfect conditional cooperator default.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.

ABSTRACT
In this paper we test the effect of non-binding defaults on the level of contribution to a public good. We manipulate the default numbers appearing on the decision screen to nudge subjects toward a free-rider strategy or a perfect conditional cooperator strategy. Our results show that the vast majority of our subjects did not adopt the default numbers, but their stated strategy was affected by the default. Moreover, we find that our manipulation spilled over to a subsequent repeated public goods game where default was not manipulated. Here we found that subjects who previously saw the free rider default were significantly less cooperative than those who saw the perfect conditional cooperator default.

Show MeSH