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Guilt Aversion in Multi-Agent Settings
Last registered on April 17, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Guilt Aversion in Multi-Agent Settings
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002901
Initial registration date
April 15, 2018
Last updated
April 17, 2018 4:00 PM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Cologne
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2018-04-17
End date
2018-07-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This research project addresses experimentally as well as theoretically whether decision makers state more selfish decisions if they are protected by the anonymity of the mass and the consequences of their decisions affect a collective of economic agents compared to a situation where they interact with solely one agent?

This presumed increase in selfish behavior is backed up by predictions derived from an adapted versions of the simple guilt and the guilt from blame model by Batigalli and Dufwenberg (2007). In other words, differences in how decision makers experience feelings of guilt and shame for not living up to the expectations of others may differ in multi-agent settings. The concept of guilt offers four different behavioral channels for a potential increase in selfish behavior.

A dictator game experiment is ran on mturk to approach the main research question as well as to disentangle the different potential behavioral channels. In order to address the main hypothesis, the number of dictators & recipient within one group is varied. In order to discriminate between different behavioral channel, the strategy method (dictators state their decisions contingent on different expectations of recipients) is applied, the post-experimental feedback is varied and first order beliefs about the behavior of other dictators are elicited.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Lenz, Lisa. 2018. "Guilt Aversion in Multi-Agent Settings." AEA RCT Registry. April 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2901-1.0.
Former Citation
Lenz, Lisa. 2018. "Guilt Aversion in Multi-Agent Settings." AEA RCT Registry. April 17. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2901/history/28455.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
I randomly assign participants to the different treatment conditions.
The exogenous varied variables are the group size of the dictator setting as well as the post experimental feedback concerning the dictators' decisions. Furthermore, I let dictators state their decisions contingent on different potential beliefs of recipients by applying the strategy method.
Intervention Start Date
2018-04-17
Intervention End Date
2018-07-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
dictators' distribution condition, recipients' beliefs about dictator's distribution condition
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
dictators' beliebst about other dictator's distribution conditions
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Baseline Condition:
--------------------------

Participants will be assigned either type A (dictator) or type B (recipient).
Every type A is randomly matched with a B-participant. Every participant A can decide how much he/she wants to take of the pot that contains $1.00. Participant typ B earns whatever is left in the pot.

Treatment Condition 1 :
--------------------------

8 participants will be assigned either type A or type B. The 4 A-participants and the 4 B-participants interact.
There is a common pot that contains $4.00.Every A-participant can decide how much he/she wants to take out of the common pot up to an amount of $1.00 per participant.The amount of money that remains in the pot after every of the 4 type A participants made the decision will be split equally among the participants of type B.
Participants of type B cannot act.

Treatment Condition 2 :
--------------------------

8 participants will be assigned either type A or type B. The 20 A-participants and the 20 B-participants interact.
There is a common pot that contains $20.00.Every A-participant can decide how much he/she wants to take out of the common pot up to an amount of $1.00 per participant.The amount of money that remains in the pot after every of the 20 type A participants made the decision will be split equally among the participants of type B.
Participants of type B cannot act.

Further Variations:
--------------------------

In Treatment Condition (1) and (2) I further vary the post-experimental feedback. In one condition, B-particpants receive information about how much an average A-participants get or receive information about the distribution of A-players' decisions.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
individual level
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
5 different treatments with 80 dictators and 80 recipients each = 800 participants in total
Sample size: planned number of observations
400 dictators with 11 different decisions = 4400
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
5 different treatments with 80 dictators and 80 recipients each = 800 participants in total
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers