The differential effect of narratives prosocial behavior
Adrian Hillenbrand () and
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Adrian Hillenbrand: Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
No 2018_16, Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods from Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
We study how positive narratives (stories in favor of a prosocial action) and negative narratives (stories in favor of a selfish action) influence prosocial behavior. Our main findings are that positive narratives increase giving of selfish types substantially, compared to a baseline with no narratives. Negative narratives, on the other hand, have a differential effect. Prosocial types decrease their giving, while selfish types give more than in the baseline. We argue and provide evidence in favor of the following interpretation of our results: narratives offer a benchmark for social comparison, on top of influencing perceptions of deservingness and appropriateness. Subjects are swayed by narratives and, at the same time, they compare themselves with the narrator.
Keywords: Prosocial behavior; narratives; social comparison; dictator game; SVO (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D63 D64 D83 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-12, Revised 2020-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-hpe
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2018_16
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