Extremists An Experimental Study Of How Social Interactions Change Preferences
Ian Crawford and
No 790, Economics Series Working Papers from University of Oxford, Department of Economics
Abstract: We study the effects of social interactions on individualsâ€™ other-regarding preferences. Using a modified dictator game and a structural choice-revealed preference approach, we compare five models of other regarding preferences and, using our preferred specification, we measure an individualâ€™s preferences before and after subjects have interacted face-to-face in a small group. We then examine whether a change in preferences is observed. We find that these interactions do indeed change individualsâ€™ other-regarding preferences and that these effects are highly heterogeneous. In most groups, preferences of individual group members become more homogenous as might be expected, but we also find that subjectsâ€™ preferences can converge towards those of a single key individual in the group whose preferences are both extreme and also unchanging. These key individuals often have strongly egoistic preferences and are also more likely to be male. These effects are more prevalent amongst younger subjects than older.
Keywords: Other-regarding preferences; social interactions; preference dynamics; preference heterogeneity; social conformity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 C92 D70 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dcm, nep-exp, nep-upt and nep-ure
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:oxf:wpaper:790
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