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First Impressions are More Important than Early Intervention. Qualifying Broken Windows Theory in the Lab

MPS-Authors
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Beckenkamp,  Martin
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Engel,  Christoph
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Glöckner,  Andreas
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Irlenbusch,  Bernd
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Hennig-Schmidt,  Heike
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Kube,  Sebastian
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Kurschilgen,  Michael
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons183174

Morell,  Alexander
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons183176

Nicklisch,  Andreas
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Normann,  Hans-Theo
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Towfigh,  Emanuel Vahid
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Beckenkamp, M., Engel, C., Glöckner, A., Irlenbusch, B., Hennig-Schmidt, H., Kube, S., et al. (2009). First Impressions are More Important than Early Intervention. Qualifying Broken Windows Theory in the Lab.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-6CB3-9
Abstract
Broken Windows: the metaphor has changed New York and Los Angeles. Yet it is far from undisputed whether the broken windows policy was causal for reducing crime. In a series of lab experiments we put two components of the theory to the test. We show that first impressions and early punishment of antisocial behaviour are independently and jointly causal for cooperativeness. The effect of good first impressions and of early vigilance cannot be explained with, but adds to, participants’ initial level of benevolence. Mere impression management is not strong enough to maintain cooperation. Cooperation stabilizes if good first impressions are combined with some risk of sanctions. Yet if we control for first impressions, early vigilance only has a small effect. The effect vanishes over time.