Self-serving biases in social norm compliance Academic Article uri icon


  • 2019 The social stigma against the payoff-maximizing strategy in dictator games is being accepted by more researchers as the most accurate rationalization for the divergence between classical economic theory and laboratory behavior in this setting. By constructing a fake entitlement treatment, where dictator role assignment was purely random, but masqueraded in a way that was open for interpretation, we investigate whether social norm compliance is an inclination or obligation in dictator experiments. We provide compelling evidence that dictators are not predisposed to seek adherence with prevailing social norms, but instead, interpreted the setting to serve their own self-interest.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 2.7

author list (cited authors)

  • Kassas, B., & Palma, M. A.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Kassas, Bachir||Palma, Marco A

publication date

  • January 2019