Increasing altruistic and cooperative behaviour with simple moral nudges

Capraro, Valerio, Jagfeld, Glorianna, Klein, Rana, Mul, Mathijs and de Pol, Iris van (2019) Increasing altruistic and cooperative behaviour with simple moral nudges. Scientific Reports, 9 (1) . p. 11880. ISSN 2045-2322 (Published online first) (doi:10.1038/s41598-019-48094-4)

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Abstract

The conflict between pro-self and pro-social behaviour is at the core of many key problems of our time, as, for example, the reduction of air pollution and the redistribution of scarce resources. For the well-being of our societies, it is thus crucial to find mechanisms to promote pro-social choices over egoistic ones. Particularly important, because cheap and easy to implement, are those mechanisms that can change people's behaviour without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives, the so-called "nudges". Previous research has found that moral nudges (e.g., making norms salient) can promote pro-social behaviour. However, little is known about whether their effect persists over time and spills across context. This question is key in light of research showing that pro-social actions are often followed by selfish actions, thus suggesting that some moral manipulations may backfire. Here we present a class of simple moral nudges that have a great positive impact on pro-sociality. In Studies 1-4 (total N = 1,400), we use economic games to demonstrate that asking subjects to self-report "what they think is the morally right thing to do" does not only increase pro-sociality in the choice immediately after, but also in subsequent choices, and even when the social context changes. In Study 5, we explore whether moral nudges promote charity donations to humanitarian organisations in a large (N = 1,800) crowdfunding campaign. We find that, in this context, moral nudges increase donations by about 44 percent.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Article number = 11880
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Economics
Item ID: 27466
Notes on copyright: © The Author(s) 2019.
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2019 09:09
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2019 09:21
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/27466

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