Economics at your fingertips  

Cognitive processes underlying distributional preferences: a response time study

Fadong Chen () and Urs Fischbacher
Additional contact information
Fadong Chen: Zhejiang University

Experimental Economics, 2020, vol. 23, issue 2, No 6, 446 pages

Abstract: Abstract There is ample evidence that people differ considerably in their preferences. We identify individual heterogeneity in type and strength of social preferences in a series of binary three-person dictator games. Based on this identification, we analyze response times in another series of games to investigate the cognitive processes of distributional preferences. We find that response time increases with the number of conflicts between individually relevant motives and decreases with the utility difference between choice options. The selfish motive is more intuitive for subjects who are more selfish. Our findings indicate that the sequential sampling process and the intuition of selfishness jointly produce distribution decisions, and provide an explanation for the mixed results on the correlations between response time and prosociality. Our results also show that it is important to take heterogeneity of preferences into account when investigating the cognitive processes of social decision making.

Keywords: Distributional preferences; Cognitive process; Response time; Heterogeneity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A12 C72 C91 D30 D87 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... ry/journal/10683/PS2

DOI: 10.1007/s10683-019-09618-x

Access Statistics for this article

Experimental Economics is currently edited by David J. Cooper, Lata Gangadharan and Charles N. Noussair

More articles in Experimental Economics from Springer, Economic Science Association Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().

Page updated 2021-08-25
Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:23:y:2020:i:2:d:10.1007_s10683-019-09618-x