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Title:Three perspectives on social decision-making
Author(s):Set, Eric
Director of Research:Polborn, Mattias
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Krasa, Stefan
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hsu, Ming; Marx, Benjamin
Department / Program:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):behavioral economics, experimental economics, genetics, learning, voting, persuasion, cognition, political campaign, collusion, cheating, campaign game
Abstract:The three essays herein explore social decision-making at various scopes and for various ends. At the biological level, substantial progress has been made at the neural level in characterizing the dopaminergic and frontostriatal mechanisms mediating how we learn to adapt in such settings. Chapter \ref{chap:learning} describes research in which we combined computational modeling of strategic learning with a pathway approach to characterize association of strategic behavior with variations in the dopamine pathway. Our findings highlight dissociable roles of frontostriatal systems in strategic learning and support the notion that genetic variation, organized along specific pathways, forms an important source of variation in complex phenotypes such as strategic behavior. Even crudely biased information may be persuasive when people are not fully rational. For Chapter \ref{chap:persuasion}, using novel sender-receiver experiments, I evaluate 78 individuals' cognitive susceptibility to persuasion by comparing the relative influences of truthful strategic and non-strategic signals. The main finding is that people underestimate and undercorrect for bias. Consistent with an anchor-and-adjust heuristic, higher cognitive cost negatively affects the size of bias correction. Finally, for the research in Chapter \ref{chap:collusion} I studied the role of social preferences in inciting collusion by asking 282 online participants how they might behave in a sequential game of chance (a hidden die game) with hypothetical partners and possible cheating. Extending previous findings, I found evidence of types that are predicted by a measure of social preferences. Many people are willing to collude, given the chance. Some always refuse, even disrupting attempts at collusion. And a sizable middle are honest when only one other person colludes, but dishonest when two other people collude prior to the subject. This last group tend to prefer more altruistic options in a dictator game.
Issue Date:2018-04-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Eric Set
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-04
Date Deposited:2018-05

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