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Contagion of pro- and anti-social behavior among peers and the role of social proximity

Eugen Dimant ()

Journal of Economic Psychology, 2019, vol. 73, issue C, 66-88

Abstract: This paper uses a novel experimental design to study the contagion of pro- and anti-social behavior and the role of social proximity among peers. Across systematic variations thereof, we find that anti-social behavior is generally more contagious than pro-social behavior. Surprisingly, we also find that social proximity amplifies the contagion of anti-social behavior more strongly than the contagion of pro-social behavior. Anti-social individuals are also most susceptible to the behavioral contagion of other anti-social peers. These findings paired with the methodological contribution inform the design of effective norm-based policy interventions directed at facilitating pro-social behavior and reducing anti-social behavior in social and economic environments.

Keywords: Behavioral contagion; Peer effects; Anti-social & pro-social behavior (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D64 D9 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Working Paper: Contagion of Pro- and Anti-Social Behavior Among Peers and the Role of Social Proximity (2018) Downloads
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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:73:y:2019:i:c:p:66-88