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What are you calling intuitive? Subject heterogeneity as a driver of response times in an impunity game

Paolo Crosetto () and Werner Güth
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Paolo Crosetto: GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes
Werner Güth: LUISS - Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli [Roma], Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods - Partenaires INRAE

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Abstract: We study choices and reaction times of respondents in an impunity game with unfair offers. The non-private impunity game features two roles, proposer and respondent, who are both aware whether the pie size is small or large. Proposers decide among three more or less unfair offers; respondents can accept or reject the offer, in which case it is lost for them. Whatever the responder decides is communicated to the proposer. 240 proposers took part in a traditional laboratory; 24 respondents were in an fMRI setup where they confronted all 240 proposals elicited from proposers. Responses were sent via email to proposers. Proposers revealed little concern for respondents. Respondents overwhelmingly rejected small offers, especially from a large pie. Surprisingly and in contrast with most of the literature and the Social Heuristic Hypothesis, we find that on average acceptances took longer than rejections. This result is driven by individual heterogeneity. The rich response data allow us to distinguish different respondent types, finding a remarkable consistency: subjects mainly accepting (rejecting) take more time to reject (accept). We attribute this finding to heterogeneity in self-priming. Our results suggest a primary role for individual heterogeneity in experiments testing the intuitive or deliberate status of cooperation and altruism.

Keywords: Impunity game; Social heuristic hypothesis; Response time; JEL codes: C72; C78; C91; D87 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-gth
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