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The differential effect of narratives

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Hillenbrand,  Adrian
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Eugenio,  Verrina
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Hillenbrand, A., & Eugenio, V. (2018). The differential effect of narratives.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-AE91-6
Abstract
Narratives pervade almost any aspect of our life and play a particularly important role in moral and prosocial decision-making. We study how positive (stories in favor of a prosocial action) and negative (stories in favor of a selfish action) narratives influence prosocial behavior. Our main findings are that positive narratives increase giving substantially, especially for selfish types, compared to a baseline with no narratives. Negative narratives, on the other hand, have a differential effect. Prosocial types decrease their giving, while selfish types give more than in the baseline. We also find that positive narratives lead to a binary response (comply or not comply), while negative narratives induce a more gradual trade-off.