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Games 2018, 9(4), 73;

Does Implicit Bias Predict Dictator Giving?

Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005-1827, USA
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 19 September 2018 / Published: 21 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dictator Games)
PDF [364 KB, uploaded 21 September 2018]


Implicit associations and biases are carried without awareness or conscious direction, yet there is reason to believe they may be influenced by social pressures. In this paper, I study social pressure as a motive to give, as well as giving itself under conditions of implicit bias. In doing so, I pair the Implicit Association Test (IAT), commonplace in other social sciences, with a laboratory dictator game with sorting. I find that despite its popularity, the IAT does not predict dictator giving and social pressure does not explain acts of giving from biased dictators. These results are indicative of the meaningful difference between having an implicit bias and acting on one. As such, results can be thought of as a bound on the external validity of the IAT. View Full-Text
Keywords: IAT; implicit bias; race; prosocial behavior; social pressures IAT; implicit bias; race; prosocial behavior; social pressures

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary materials

  • Supplementary File 1:

    ZIP-Document (ZIP, 10 KB)

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: IAT_masterdata
    Description: Dataset
  • Externally hosted supplementary file 2
    Doi: IAT_code
    Description: Stata .do file

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Lee, D.J. Does Implicit Bias Predict Dictator Giving? Games 2018, 9, 73.

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