Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
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Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg Working Papers in Economics

No 445:
Reconciling Pro-Social vs. Selfish Behavior - Evidence for the Role of Self-Control

Peter Martinsson (), Kristian Ove R. Myrseth () and Conny Wollbrant ()

Abstract: We test the proposition that individuals may experience a self-control conflict between short-term temptation to be selfish and better judgment to act pro-socially. Using a dictator game and a public goods game, we manipulated the likelihood that individuals identified self-control conflict, and we measured their trait ability to implement self-control strategies. Consistent with our hypothesis, we find that trait self-control exhibits a positive and significant correlation with pro-social behavior in the treatment that raises likelihood of conflict identification, but not in the treatment that reduces likelihood of conflict identification.

Keywords: self-control; pro-social behavior; altruism; experiment.; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: D01; D03; D64; D70; (follow links to similar papers)

23 pages, May 10, 2010

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This paper is published as:
Martinsson, Peter, Kristian Ove R. Myrseth and Conny Wollbrant, (2012), 'Reconciling Pro-Social vs. Selfish Behavior - Evidence for the Role of Self-Control', Judgment and Decision Making, Vol. 7, pages 304-315

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