- Conscience accounting: emotion dynamics and social behavior
- Management Science
- Volume | Issue number
- 60 | 11
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam School of Economics Research Institute (ASE-RI)
This paper presents theory and experiments where people's prosocial attitudes fluctuate over time following the violation of an internalized norm. We report the results of two experiments in which people who first made an immoral choice were then more likely to donate to charity than those who did not. In addition, those who knew that a donation opportunity would follow the potentially immoral choice behaved more unethically than those who did not know. We interpret this increase in charitable behavior as being driven by a temporal increase in guilt induced by past immoral actions. We term such behavior conscience accounting and discuss its importance in charitable giving and in the identification of social norms in choice behavior through time inconsistency.
Data, as supplemental material, are available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2014.1942.
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