Gain-loss framing effects in dilemmas of trust and reciprocity

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Abstract

How do trust and reciprocity decisions change when outcomes are framed in terms of potential losses (vs gains)? In two studies, with 7464 trust decisions from 359 participants and 2723 reciprocity decisions from 221 participants, we find that loss framing increases mean-level trust, but has no effect on mean-level reciprocity. Additionally, loss framing changes how decisions are made: In the domain of losses, trustors and trustees become less calculative — trust decisions involving losses are less sensitive to changes in expected value and reciprocity decisions are less sensitive to the financial temptation to betray trust. Critically, these changes in the process of decision-making are more pronounced when people interact with a human (vs computer) partner, pointing to uniquely social consequences of loss framing. The present results contribute to our understanding of the factors that shape trust and reciprocity, and emphasize that interpersonal processes play an important but under examined role in gain-loss framing effects.
LanguageEnglish
Pages151-163
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume73
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017

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reciprocity
Trustees
social effects
decision making

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title = "Gain-loss framing effects in dilemmas of trust and reciprocity",
abstract = "How do trust and reciprocity decisions change when outcomes are framed in terms of potential losses (vs gains)? In two studies, with 7464 trust decisions from 359 participants and 2723 reciprocity decisions from 221 participants, we find that loss framing increases mean-level trust, but has no effect on mean-level reciprocity. Additionally, loss framing changes how decisions are made: In the domain of losses, trustors and trustees become less calculative — trust decisions involving losses are less sensitive to changes in expected value and reciprocity decisions are less sensitive to the financial temptation to betray trust. Critically, these changes in the process of decision-making are more pronounced when people interact with a human (vs computer) partner, pointing to uniquely social consequences of loss framing. The present results contribute to our understanding of the factors that shape trust and reciprocity, and emphasize that interpersonal processes play an important but under examined role in gain-loss framing effects.",
author = "A.M. Evans and {van Beest}, I.",
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Gain-loss framing effects in dilemmas of trust and reciprocity. / Evans, A.M.; van Beest, I.

In: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 73, 01.11.2017, p. 151-163.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AB - How do trust and reciprocity decisions change when outcomes are framed in terms of potential losses (vs gains)? In two studies, with 7464 trust decisions from 359 participants and 2723 reciprocity decisions from 221 participants, we find that loss framing increases mean-level trust, but has no effect on mean-level reciprocity. Additionally, loss framing changes how decisions are made: In the domain of losses, trustors and trustees become less calculative — trust decisions involving losses are less sensitive to changes in expected value and reciprocity decisions are less sensitive to the financial temptation to betray trust. Critically, these changes in the process of decision-making are more pronounced when people interact with a human (vs computer) partner, pointing to uniquely social consequences of loss framing. The present results contribute to our understanding of the factors that shape trust and reciprocity, and emphasize that interpersonal processes play an important but under examined role in gain-loss framing effects.

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