How much do you trust me? Economic decision-making and ingroup and outgroup membership

Abstract

Cross-cultural studies suggest that culture can influence human decision making, especially in economic contexts, but little is known about economic decision-making comparing ingroup and outgroup membership. We studied trusting behavior in two different cultures: the Chinese one, example of collectivist culture, and the Italian one, example of individualistic culture (N=25 Italians and N=25 Chinese). Using a modified version of the Trust Game with tree level of trust (20 o 40 o 60 Monetary Units), we investigated behavioral differences in decision-making based on trust levels in ingroup (Player A and B same nationality),and outgroup condition (Player A and B different nationality). Data analysis showed that both groups tend to trust more when the amount of monetary units decreases. Furthermore, results revealed no statistically significant differences in the trusting behavior between ingroup and outgroup factor for both cultural groups.


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