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Curating social image: Experimental evidence on the value of actions and selfies

Hakan Holm () and Margaret Samahita

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2018, vol. 148, issue C, 83-104

Abstract: We manipulate the information subjects can share on the web concerning socially sensitive actions (public good contribution) and visibility (selfie) to determine the effect on social image, as captured by the price subjects demand for publication. Our novel design incorporates aspects of social media interaction including limited anonymity and the possibility to manipulate published information in retrospect, which involves a controled decision-making process. The overall conclusion from the experiment is that theory about social reputation can predict subjects’ social-signaling behavior. People take costly decisions to curate their social image online. We also report results of a more exploratory nature and find that taking a selfie has a strong negative impact on cooperation among frequent selfie takers, but not on other subjects.

Keywords: Social image; Selfie; Cooperation; Signaling; Social media; Dual process theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 C91 D80 D82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Working Paper: Curating Social Image: Experimental Evidence on the Value of Actions and Selfies (2016) Downloads
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