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An experimental analysis of moral self-regulation

İ.Erdem Seçilmiş ()

Applied Economics Letters, 2018, vol. 25, issue 12, 857-861

Abstract: This article examines the validity of the moral self-regulation hypothesis in a laboratory setting. The experiment is comprised of a public good game preceded or followed by a matrix task. The data show that the recall of an immoral action (cheating in the matrix task) motivates the individual to do morally right thing (contributing to group account) and the recall of a moral action (contributing to group account) motivates the individual to act out self-interest (cheating in the matrix task). Both moral licensing and moral cleansing hypotheses are confirmed by the results of the experiment. Additionally, the findings indicate that the subjects who had been given a chance to cheat ‘at first’ allocated more funds to the group account; and the subjects who had been given a chance to voluntarily contribute ‘at first’ cheated more in the matrix task.

Date: 2018
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