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Most prior research on the external validity of mixed-motive games has studied only one single game version and/or one specific type of real-life prosocial behavior. The present study employs a different approach. We used multiple game trials — with different payoff structures — to measure participants’ behavior in the Prisoner’s Dilemma, the Commons Dilemma, and the Public Goods Dilemma. We then examined the associations between these aggregated game behaviors and a wide set of self-reported prosocial behaviors such as donations, commuting, and environmental behaviors. We also related these prosocial behavior measures to a dispositional measure of prosociality, social value orientation. We report evidence that the weak statistical relationships routinely observed in prior studies are at least partially a consequence of failures to aggregate. More specifically, our results show that aggregation over multiple game trials was especially effective for the Prisoner’s Dilemma, whereas it was somewhat effective for the Public Goods Dilemma. Yet, aggregation on the side of the prosocial behaviors was effective for both these games, as well as for social value orientation. The Commons Dilemma, however, turned out to yield invariably poor relationships with prosocial behavior, regardless of the level of aggregation. Based on these findings, we conclude that the use of multiple instances of game behavior and prosocial behavior is preferable to the use of only a single measurement.
The present paper examines the effectiveness of financial overcompensation as a means to enhance customer loyalty after a product failure. Overcompensation implies that customers are entitled to a refund that is larger than the purchase price. It is, however, still unclear whether large overcompensations entail saturation effects, or alternatively, result in an actual drop in customer loyalty. We predicted that the overcompensation-loyalty relationship is generally characterized by an inverted U-shaped function. In line with this prediction, the results of four studies showed that mild overcompensations had, on average, a positive effect on customer loyalty beyond equal compensation, but only up to compensation levels of approximately 150% of the purchase price of faulty products. Beyond this level, the effectiveness of overcompensation diminished, eventually leading to a general drop in customer loyalty. Despite this overall pattern, two studies revealed robust individual differences in how customers react to increasing overcompensation. A majority of customers increased their loyalty when the overcompensation enlarged, but the curve flattened out in the high range. However, there was also a smaller portion of customers who reacted negatively to every form of overcompensation. A practical implication of these findings, therefore, is that companies should not offer compensations that are greater than 150% of the initial price, as these do not contribute to greater loyalty in any category of customers.
Do people think that there is such a thing as too much money? The present research investigated this question in the context of hypothetical lottery wins. By employing a mental simulation approach, we were able to examine how people respond to increasing envisioned jackpot amounts, and whether there are individual differences in people’s reactions. Across five empirical studies (total N = 1,504), we consistently found that, overall, the relationship between imagined lottery wins and expected happiness is characterized by an inverted U-shaped curve, with expected happiness being highest around an envisioned win of roughly 10 million pounds. Both lower and higher envisioned wins reduced participants’ overall expected happiness. In addition to this overall pattern, we identified three clusters of participants who react differently to expected increases in wealth. These clusters mainly differed in terms of how soon the top of the expected happiness curve was reached, and if and when the curve started to drop. Finally, we also found some interesting cluster differences in terms of participants’ prosocial and proself motivations.
Surprisingly little research has investigated the particular motives that underlie choice behavior in social dilemma situations. The main aim of the present research was to ask whether behavior in take-some games (such as the multiple-person Commons Dilemma Game and the two-person Bandit Game) and give-some games (such as the multiple-person Public Goods Dilemma Game and the two-person Dictator Game) is differently affected by proself and prosocial motives. Two experimental studies were conducted. Our first experiment used a trait-based assessment of the motives, whereas in our second experiment the motives were measured as state variables. The results of both experiments revealed that proself and prosocial motives did not explain much difference between taking and giving when comparing the Commons Dilemma Game and the Public Goods Dilemma Game. Yet, our second experiment revealed that these motives did differentiate choices in the Bandit Game and the Dictator Game. More specifically, prosocial motives are more strongly related to giving behavior in the Dictator Game than to taking behavior in the Bandit Game. As such, it can be concluded that in dyadic games (but not in multiple-person games) prosocial motives (but not proself motives) predict choice behavior in a game-specific way.
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