Fear or greed? Duty or solidarity? Motivations and the development of sociocognitive and moral reasoning: experimental evidences from public-goods provision dilemmas

Judging from the perspective of standard game theory, empirical research has uncovered a rich array of “anomalies” that systematically occur in situations that were once thought to have properties leading to clear predictions. This is particularly the case for social dilemmas related to the appropriation of common-pool resources and provision of public-goods. Explanation of such anomalies has focused on the effects of structural variables and contexts on people’s decisions. However, the present study suggest that classifications or typologies based on such descriptors of the action situation are not enough to explain and predict individuals’ decisions in social dilemmas because sociocognitive and moral reasoning has its own stages of development and cannot be deduced from the objective incentive structure or context of action alone. In order to examine this proposition we test experimentally the explanatory power of a selected developmental model designed to rationally reconstruct the pretheoretical knowledge of competently judging subjects. Results indicate that the theoretical constructs of the chosen model provide reliable source of information to explain and predict diverse behavioral responses to similar incentive structures in a public-goods provision dilemmas under variable institutional conditions.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
C72; C92; D74
The paper presents results connecting the participant’s motivations and behaviors in a step-level give some dilemma with the constructs in a selected theory of adult personality systems development including value judgment and moral reasoning.
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Contributed Paper

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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