A Matter of Trust: From Social Preferences to the Strategic Adherence to Social Norms
In a mathematical analysis of the trust game, we show that utility‐maximizing trustees should establish equal payoffs or return nothing depending on the strength of their social preferences (benevolence and inequality aversion). Trustors may invest any amount depending on their social preferences and their expectations regarding the trustees’ preferences. For both types of player, empirical distributions of transfers are rather flat, however, and players’ morality, but not their rationality, is judged in proportion to the money transferred. This pattern of findings suggests that people are primarily motivated by self‐interest, and that they adhere to relevant social norms inasmuch as they can enhance their self‐image or reputation as a moral person.
Keywords: trust, reciprocity, social preferences, social norms, projection, reputation, self‐image
How to Cite:
Krueger, J. & Massey, A. & DiDonato, T., (2008) “A Matter of Trust: From Social Preferences to the Strategic Adherence to Social Norms”, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 1(1), 31-52. doi: https://doi.org/10.34891/mqtk-h766