EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Does Empathy Beget Guile? Experimental Evidence

Daniel Chen

No 16-684, TSE Working Papers from Toulouse School of Economics (TSE)

Abstract: Some theories about the positive impact of markets on morality suggest that competition increases empathy, not between competitors, but between them and third parties. However, empathy may be a necessary evolutionary antecedent to guile, which is when someone knows what the other person wants and intentionally deceives him or her, and deception may have evolved as a means of exploiting empathy. This paper examines how individuals primed for empathy behave towards third parties in a simple economic game of deception. It reports the results of a data entry experiment in an online labor market. Individuals enter data randomized to be a prime for empathy, for guile, or a control. Empathy is then measured using a Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test and guile is measured using a simple economic game. Individuals primed for empathy become less deceptive towards third parties. Individuals primed for guile become less likely to perceive that deceiving an individual is unfair in a vignette. These results are robust to a variety of controls and to restricting to workers who entered the prime accurately. These findings are inconsistent with the hypothesis that empathy causes guile and suggests that empathy may cause those who are making judgements to become less deceptive.

Keywords: Normative Commitments; Other-Regarding Preferences; Empathy; Deception; Guile (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D03 D64 K00 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp, nep-neu and nep-soc
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations:

Downloads: (external link)
https://www.tse-fr.eu/sites/default/files/TSE/docu ... /2016/wp_tse_684.pdf Full text (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Does Empathy Beget Guile? Experimental Evidence (2016) Downloads
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: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:tse:wpaper:30579

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in TSE Working Papers from Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2024-05-18
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:30579