Recent experimental research on dictatorship games shows that many dictators share their outcomes with unknown, anonymous others. The data suggests that dictators can be "typed" as rational (taking the maximum), equal (splitting outcomes equally), or "other." This paper experimentally tests the self-impression management model, which predicts that individuals act to show themselves in a positive light, even when they are the only observer of their own behavior. The model predicts that the "other" type of dictator will avoid being greedy by taking more only as their choices are increasingly restricted. Results from two experiments support the model's predictions. The conclusion advocates differentiating basic psychological motivations in modeling individual behavior. Journal of Economic Literature Classification Numbers: C78, C91, D63.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics