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Subliminal influence on generosity

Andersson, Ola LU ; Miettinen, Topi; Hytönen, Kaisa; Johannesson, Magnus and Stephan, Ute (2016) In Experimental Economics
Abstract

We experimentally subliminally prime subjects prior to charity donation decisions by showing words that have connotations of pro-social values for a very brief time (17 ms). Our main finding is that, compared to a baseline condition, the pro-social prime increases donations by approximately 10–17 % among subjects with strong pro-social preferences (universalism values). We find a similar effect when interacting the prime with the Big 5 personality characteristic of agreeableness. We furthermore introduce a novel method for testing for priming, “subliminity”. This method reveals that some subjects are capable of recognizing prime words, and the overall results are weaker when we control for this capacity.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Charity, Personality, Priming, Pro-social, Subliminal, Universalism, Values
in
Experimental Economics
pages
25 pages
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:84991404508
  • wos:000407373300001
ISSN
1386-4157
DOI
10.1007/s10683-016-9498-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a6f3ee3a-edea-43f6-bc0b-2e7ca0a70504
date added to LUP
2016-10-31 09:44:27
date last changed
2017-09-18 11:28:45
@article{a6f3ee3a-edea-43f6-bc0b-2e7ca0a70504,
  abstract     = {<p>We experimentally subliminally prime subjects prior to charity donation decisions by showing words that have connotations of pro-social values for a very brief time (17 ms). Our main finding is that, compared to a baseline condition, the pro-social prime increases donations by approximately 10–17 % among subjects with strong pro-social preferences (universalism values). We find a similar effect when interacting the prime with the Big 5 personality characteristic of agreeableness. We furthermore introduce a novel method for testing for priming, “subliminity”. This method reveals that some subjects are capable of recognizing prime words, and the overall results are weaker when we control for this capacity.</p>},
  author       = {Andersson, Ola and Miettinen, Topi and Hytönen, Kaisa and Johannesson, Magnus and Stephan, Ute},
  issn         = {1386-4157},
  keyword      = {Charity,Personality,Priming,Pro-social,Subliminal,Universalism,Values},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {10},
  pages        = {25},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Experimental Economics},
  title        = {Subliminal influence on generosity},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10683-016-9498-8},
  year         = {2016},
}