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The sound of others: surprising evidence of conformist behavior

Abstract : In this article we use the “Click” version of the Bomb Risk Elicitation Task to explore preferences for conformism. In the task subjects can infer the behavior of others from the mass of clicks heard. This signal is uninformative about the precise choices of the other participants, and never mentioned in the instructions. We control the exposure of subjects to clicks by implementing treatments with and without earmuffs. We further test the effect of the introduction of a common rather than individual resolution of uncertainty, still keeping individual payoffs independent of other subjects’ choices. We find strong evidence of conformist behavior even in such an inhospitable environment. Simply hearing the others clicking marginally affects subjects behavior. Introducing a common random draw results in a dramatic shift of the average choices toward risk loving, in particular by women, which is consistent with social preference considerations.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01547110
Contributor : Agnès Vertier <>
Submitted on : Monday, May 25, 2020 - 10:50:19 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 9:34:06 AM

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Paolo Crosetto, Antonio Filippin. The sound of others: surprising evidence of conformist behavior. Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, 2017, 83 (4), pp.1038-1051. ⟨halshs-01547110⟩

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