Give economy: neighbour effect in giving

Noh, Zamira and Goddard, Paul and Hylton, Patrick and Parke, Adrian (2015) Give economy: neighbour effect in giving. In: the 13th International Conference on Applied Psychology, 28 – 29 May 2015, Tokyo, Japan.

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Abstract

We demonstrated at ICAP/IAAP 2014, Paris, that when people are forced to select somebody to receive something ‘nasty’, they tend to avoid those physically closest to themselves: their direct neighbours. We extended our analysis by ‘forcing’ participants to select people to receive something ‘nice’. We wanted to test whether the avoidance of selecting neighbours extended to positive as well as negative gifts. In order to test this, 233 first year undergraduates were recruited during an induction lecture. Participants were allocated a specific numbered seat in the lecture theatre on a pseudo-random basis. They were then given an instruction sheet that explained that they were being requested to make a forced-choice to select somebody to receive a ‘gift’. The ‘gift’ either increased or decreased the lottery tickets the person would receive in a raffle: +1 (nice), +5 (extremely nice), 0 (neutral), -1 (nasty), -5 (extremely nasty). Participants made their choice by making an ‘X’ on a seating plan of the lecture theatre. Eligible candidates were any of the other participants on the same seating row and block in the lecture theatre. When participants issued a ‘nasty-gift’, they demonstrated a significant neighbour effect by avoiding their nearest neighbours. However, for ‘nice-gifts’ the opposite occurred and they favoured their neighbours. Therefore, in the condition when their selection benefitted the candidate, they became significantly more likely to pick their neighbours. Given that participants expressed that they were making their choices at random and that they made closed, private choices it was surprising that the significant biases exhibited such a large effect size. We suggested that the neighbour effect is a robust and strong bias, which exists as an implicit bias that effects social interactions in the context of gift economy.

Keywords:Decision-making, Gift Economy, Neighbour Effect, Valence Effect
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
L Social studies > L110 Applied Economics
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:20161
Deposited On:31 Jan 2016 15:58

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