Constructing gender self stereotyping in dictator games
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Constructing Gender: Self-Stereotyping in Dictator Games. Anne Boschini, Astri Muren and Mats Persson Department of Economics and Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University. Priming. activating certain associations in memory, thus affecting our thinking

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Constructing gender self stereotyping in dictator games

Constructing Gender:Self-Stereotyping in Dictator Games

Anne Boschini, Astri Muren and Mats Persson

Department of Economics and

Institute for International Economic Studies,

Stockholm University


Priming
Priming

  • activating certain associations in memory, thus affecting our thinking

  • A striking example: Steele and Aronson (1995) primed racial identity by asking participants to indicate their race before answering a difficult verbal test


Effects on behaviour
Effects on behaviour

  • African Americans in the race prime condition did less well in the test than others

    Priming activated stereotypes in the minds of subjects, and this affected their behavior

    (In Steele and Aronson’s case the stereotype was negative for test performance: an example of stereotype threat)


Stereotypes
Stereotypes

  • A stereotype is a generalization about the personal characteristics of a group of people, often held in common by many

  • Gender stereotypes for

    • Men: competitive, independent, aggressive

    • Women: emotional, caring, agreeable


We test the effect of gender priming in a dictator game
We test the effect of gender priming in a dictator game

  • Law students at Stockholm University

  • 161 women, 100 men

  • Three dictator games, differing in the price of money reaching the recipient, p = 1, 2,½

  • The recipient was a randomly selected and anonymous course-mate

  • The dictator had 500 crowns

  • 20% of participants were paid



3 treatments
3 treatments:

  • Post: Men and women were seated in a big lecture hall. After choosing alternatives in all games they were asked to indicate their sex.

  • Pre: Same as above but the question about sex came before playing the games.

  • Homogenous: Men and women were seated in separate rooms. The question about sex came after the games.


The questionnaire in the pre treatment

(Introduction: …)

Indicate your sex here: Woman: Man:

(…. several pages with the games ….)

The questionnaire in the Pre treatment:

Concluding questions:

Indicate your age here:

How many terms have you studied at university/college before this term?

Thank you for your participation!


Post at p 1 women 0 and men 1
Post at p = 1, women (0) and men (1)


Pre at p 1 women 0 and men 1
Pre at p = 1, women (0) and men (1)


Homogenous at p 1 women 0 and men 1
Homogenous at p = 1, women (0) and men (1)


Constructing gender self stereotyping in dictator games

Pre

Homogenous

Post



With gender priming in pre
With gender priming in Pre

  • There is a statistically significant gender difference in the gender primed treatment Pre

  • With gender priming, men donate less than women

  • This difference is consistent with gender stereotypes


In post and homogenous
In Post and Homogenous

  • No gender differences in Post or Homogenous

  • Men: similar in Post and Homogenous

  • Women: more generous in Homogenous

  • Post or Homogenous as control group (?)


Effects of gender priming
Effects of gender priming

  • Self-stereotyping: thinking that you are like the stereotype for your group

  • Gender stereotypes in dictator games: Aguiar et al. (2008) find that there is an expectation that women will give more

  • In our experiment this happens in Pre, but not otherwise




Implications
Implications

Gender priming affects dictator game decisions

  • Inadvertent gender priming in experiments?

  • Gender priming in other economic decisions?

    • Charitable giving

    • Investment

    • Consumption

    • Bargaining