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When fair is not equal: compassion and politeness predict allocations of wealth under different norms of equity and need

Zhao, Kun; Ferguson, Eamonn; Smillie, Luke D.

Authors

Kun Zhao

Eamonn Ferguson eamonn.ferguson@nottingham.ac.uk

Luke D. Smillie



Abstract

Growing evidence has highlighted the importance of social norms in promoting prosocial behaviors in economic games. Specifically, individual differences in norm adherence—captured by the politeness aspect of Big Five agreeableness—has been found to predict fair allocations of wealth to one’s partner in the dictator game. Yet most studies have used neutrally-framed paradigms, where players may default to norms of equality in the absence of contextual cues. In this study (N = 707), we examined prosocial personality traits and dictator allocations under salient real-world norms of equity and need. Extending on previous research, we found that—in addition to politeness—the compassion aspect of agreeableness predicted greater allocations of wealth when they were embedded in real-world norms. These results represent an important step in understanding the real-world implications of laboratory-based research, demonstrating the importance of both normative context and prosocial traits.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Social Psychological & Personality Science
Print ISSN 1948-5506
Electronic ISSN 1948-5514
Publisher SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 8
APA6 Citation Zhao, K., Ferguson, E., & Smillie, L. D. (in press). When fair is not equal: compassion and politeness predict allocations of wealth under different norms of equity and need. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8(8), doi:10.1177/1948550616683018
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550616683018
Keywords dictator game; social norms; politeness; compassion; agreeableness
Publisher URL http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1948550616683018
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

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Zhao, Ferguson, & Smillie 2016 - Final submitted SPPS paper.pdf (509 Kb)
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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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