Special Issue "Social Norm and Risk Attitudes"

A special issue of Games (ISSN 2073-4336).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 October 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Heinrich H. Nax

Computational Social Science, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: learning in games; behavioral and experimental game theory; cooperative game theory
Guest Editor
Dr. Juri Viehoff

Department of philosophy, University of Zurich, Zürich, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: systemic risk; moral and political philosophy; philosophy of economics; theories of social norms and rationality

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Both individuals’ attitudes to risks and to social norms crucially determine what players in a social interaction will decide to do. Literatures exist analyzing risk attitudes and social norms in isolation, yet risk attitudes and social norms also stand in a complex relationship that goes both ways. For example, risk attitudes of individuals can be governed and shaped by social norms about appropriateness and adequacy (resulting in normative demands such as “Don’t be reckless!”) — hence, our understanding of risk attitudes should benefit from understanding how social norms license or sanction risk-taking behavior depending on context. Conversely, different attitudes toward and perceptions of risk may determine the formation, change, and abandonment of social norms: Whether one will publicly defy a social norm, for example, may depend on one’s individual attitudes to the risks that are associated with its disobedience. 

In this Special Issue of Games, we seek to bring together scholarship from various disciplines (including but not limited to economics, sociology, philosophy, and psychology) concerned with the formation of society-wide risk attitudes and with studying the import of individual-level attitudes to risk. The aim of the issue is to collect a series of papers that will contribute toward improving our understanding of changes in attitudes to social norms and risks, including norm cascades, norm abandonment, and related phenomena. In doing so, we aim to strike a balance between (i) predominantly theoretical papers, for example on the definition of social norms, the order of explanation between social norms and risk attitudes, or how one ought to distinguish between (given) risk sensitivity and (assumed) risk perception, and (ii) applied papers; for example, in experimental economics, psychology or sociology, that either test existing theories or make use of data to generate new theories regarding how game-theoretic explanations can illuminate real-world social phenomena driven by risk and norm attitudes.

Dr. Heinrich H. Nax
Dr. Juri Viehoff
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Games is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Social Norms
  • Risk Attitudes
  • Game Theory
  • Experimental Economics
  • Behavior
  • Ethics
  • Evolution
  • Dynamics

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
When Two Become One: How Group Mergers Affect Solidarity
Games 2019, 10(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10030030
Received: 12 January 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
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Abstract
Solidarity in teamwork situations is important for the success and longevity of teams. This paper studies how helping group members is affected when groups are randomly merged and increase in size. Group mergers put social norms that are prevailing in previously small groups [...] Read more.
Solidarity in teamwork situations is important for the success and longevity of teams. This paper studies how helping group members is affected when groups are randomly merged and increase in size. Group mergers put social norms that are prevailing in previously small groups to the test as new team members may not share the same norms and values. I present results from an experiment in which subjects interact in groups and face the decision to help a group member who is in need of help due to an exogenous shock. Subjects interact in small groups in the first part of the experiment and groups are randomly merged to form big groups in the second part of the experiment. Helping rates are higher in merged groups compared with big groups that stay in the same constellation throughout the experiment. Moreover, in merged groups, high helping norms are more influential compared with low helping norms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Norm and Risk Attitudes)
Open AccessArticle
Give and Let Give: Alternative Mechanisms Based on Voluntary Contributions
Games 2019, 10(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10020021
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 24 April 2019 / Accepted: 30 April 2019 / Published: 7 May 2019
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Abstract
We propose a new family of mechanisms, whereby players may give more or less directly to one another. A cornerstone case is the regular linear public goods mechanism (LPGM), where all contribute into a single common group account, the total amount of which [...] Read more.
We propose a new family of mechanisms, whereby players may give more or less directly to one another. A cornerstone case is the regular linear public goods mechanism (LPGM), where all contribute into a single common group account, the total amount of which is then distributed equally among players. We show that with sufficiently (yet not necessarily fully) pro-social preferences, the social optimum can be reached in Nash equilibrium in all social dilemma situations described by our mechanisms (including the LPGM). In addition, for a given heterogeneity of pro-social preferences, we help to identify which specific mechanisms perform best in terms of incentivizing giving. Our results are therefore relevant from two vantage points. One, they provide proper rational choice benchmarks based on Nash equilibrium under the assumption of other-regarding preferences. Two, they provide arguments in favor of re-structuring many collective action problems currently implemented as LPGMs when it is feasible to gain some information concerning who has concern for whom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Norm and Risk Attitudes)
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Open AccessArticle
Explaining Cooperative Behavior in Public Goods Games: How Preferences and Beliefs Affect Contribution Levels
Games 2019, 10(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10010015
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 9 March 2019 / Accepted: 11 March 2019 / Published: 15 March 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (583 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a large body of evidence showing that a substantial proportion of people cooperate in public goods games, even if the situation is one-shot and completely anonymous. In the present study, we bring together two major endogenous factors that are known to [...] Read more.
There is a large body of evidence showing that a substantial proportion of people cooperate in public goods games, even if the situation is one-shot and completely anonymous. In the present study, we bring together two major endogenous factors that are known to affect cooperation levels, and in so doing replicate and extend previous empirical research on public goods problems in several important ways. We measure social preferences and concurrently elicit beliefs on the individual level using multiple methods, and at multiple times during the experiment. With this rich set of predictor variables at the individual level, we test how well individual contribution decisions can be accounted for in both a one-shot and a repeated interaction. We show that when heterogeneity in people’s preferences and beliefs is taken into consideration, more than 50% of the variance in individual choice behavior can be explained. Furthermore, we show that people do not only update their beliefs in a repeated public goods game, but also that their social preferences change, to some extent, in response to the choices of other decision makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Norm and Risk Attitudes)
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Open AccessArticle
Agency Equilibrium
Games 2019, 10(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10010014
Received: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 10 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
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Abstract
Agency may be exercised by different entities (e.g., individuals, firms, households). A given individual can form part of multiple agents (e.g., he may belong to a firm and a household). The set of agents that act in a given situation might not be [...] Read more.
Agency may be exercised by different entities (e.g., individuals, firms, households). A given individual can form part of multiple agents (e.g., he may belong to a firm and a household). The set of agents that act in a given situation might not be common knowledge. We adapt the standard model of incomplete information to model such situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Norm and Risk Attitudes)
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