Henkel, Jan Luca: Essays on Social Identity and Moral Behavior. - Bonn, 2023. - Dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.
Online-Ausgabe in bonndoc: https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:hbz:5-71788
urn: https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:hbz:5-71788,
author = {{Jan Luca Henkel}},
title = {Essays on Social Identity and Moral Behavior},
school = {Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn},
year = 2023,
month = aug,

note = {This dissertation contributes to a better understanding of individual decision-making by presenting four independent research papers that study the determinants and consequences of individual decision-making.
Chapter 1 (“Proud to Not Own Stocks: How Identity Shapes Financial Decisions”) focuses on financial decision-making, introducing a key factor influencing households’ decision to invest in the stock market: how people view stockholders. Using surveys conducted with nearly 8,500 individuals across eleven countries, we find that respondents predominantly view stockholders negatively – they are perceived as greedy, gambler-like, and selfish individuals. Using experiments, we show that these perceptions of identity-relevant characteristics causally influence decision-making. Furthermore, by linking survey and administrative data, we show that they strongly predict households’ stock market participation, more so than leading alternative determinants. Our findings provide new perspectives on the malleability of financial decision-making and emphasize the importance of identity in economic decision-making.
In Chapter 2 (“The association between vaccination status identification and societal polarization”), we study the role of we investigate polarization behavior around COVID-19 vaccinations. We propose that identification processes play a key role in polarization and conflict between vaccinated and unvaccinated. Using panel data from 3,267 vaccinated and 2,038 unvaccinated respondents in Germany and Austria, we show that vaccination status identification explains substantial variance in a range of polarizing attitudes and behaviors, such as discrimination experiences and behavior. Our results highlight the importance of identity for predicting behavioral responses to vaccination policies.
Chapter 3 (“Eliciting Moral Preferences under Image Concerns: Theory and Experiment”) analyses how image concerns interact with features of the decision environment. We focus on two key features of decision environments: single versus multiple decisions, and certainty versus uncertainty of consequences. Using direct elicitation (DE) versus multiple-price-list (MPL) or equivalently Becker-DeGroot-Marschak (BDM) schemes as exemplars, we characterize how image-seeking inflates prosocial giving. The signaling bias (relative to true preferences) is shown to depend on the interaction between elicitation method and visibility level: it is greater under DE for low image concerns, and greater under MPL/BDM for high ones. We experimentally test the model’s predictions and find the predicted crossing effect.
Lastly, Chapter 4 (“Ends versus Means: Kantians, Utilitarians and Moral Decisions”) studies people's moral behavior in situations where the two most influential moral theories, Consequentialism and Deontological ethics, differ in the actions they postulate as morally right. Using a series of experiments, we investigate the overall prevalence and the consistency of consequentialist and deontological decision-making. We find a sizeable prevalence of non-consequentialist choices by subjects, but no evidence of stable individual preference types across situations. Our findings highlight the relevance of deontological considerations for decision-making but also the challenges of using moral dilemmas to predict moral behavior.
Taken together, the chapters of this thesis produce two key insights that advance our understanding of individual decision-making. First, they show that social identity is a powerful concept to explain behavior. Identification processes can explain a wide array of behaviors related to financial decisions and vaccinations. Second, they show that moral behavior is more malleable and to a higher degree shaped by the situation context than previously acknowledged. Not only do image concerns influence the extent of moral behavior, but these concerns interact with the decision environment. Similarly, individuals appear to resolve moral dilemmas depending on the decision context rather than according to some underlying moral principle.},

url = {https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11811/10991}

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