|TITLE:||IMPACT OF WEALTH ON CONTRIBUTIONS IN A PUBLIC GOODS DILEMMA|
|PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR:||HENRY, KELLY|
|OTHER INVESTIGATORS:||THOMAS SOUTHER, LINZY FAIRMAN, ANTOINETTE WILLIAMS, DANIEL HEIDTBRINK, ZACH MATTHYS, CURT DENNIS, MALORIE VARNER, GENESIS PARRERA|
File Created: September 27, 2012|
Department Chair Action Date: October 1, 2012
Current Status: Expedited Approval Granted
Action Date: October 1, 2012
Approval Expiration Date: October 1, 2013
|Confidentiality||Data are not linked to individuals|
STATEMENT OF PURPOSEThe purpose of this study is to understand the impact of asymmetrical endowments on individual contribution decisions in a public goods dilemma. Previous research shows that the rich give more in raw contribution but less proportionately. However, this research only compared two endowment levels. The purpose of our endowment study is to extend this to four endowment levels.
STATEMENT OF RESEARCH METHODOLOGYForty undergraduate students (female and male average age =years) will participate in exchange for course credit. The participants will be randomly assigned to one of four allowance conditions in a social dilemma: $50, $75, $100, and $200 using Monopoly money. This study is a one-way ANOVA design with the main independent variable being allowance size and the main dependent variable being amount contributed. Participants will arrive to the laboratory in groups of four and be separated into individual cubicles to make investment decisions privately. Each individual will be given an instruction sheet upon arrival describing the decision task. The instructions will describe the public good dilemma and inform the participants that earnings from the decision task will convert to raffle tickets for a prepaid $50 VISA card. After reading instructions, each participant will be given a quiz to ensure they understand the instructions. Once all participants understand the task, the allowance manipulation will be produced, and then participants will be given two minutes to decide what contribution to give to the public good. After they have indicated their contribution decision, they will complete a post-experimental questionnaire measuring manipulation checks and basic demographics. They will then be debriefed and informed that rather than using their earnings in the decision task to determine the number of raffle tickets they receive, each participant will receive only one raffle ticket. They will then be thanked and dismissed.
ANTICIPATED RISKS AND BENEFITSWe believe there are two possible risks in their study. First, a participant may become upset at the risk of exploitation in the decision task. Since the participants will not be informed of other participantís investment decisions, we feel this risk is minimal. However, the societal benefits accrued from this study far outweigh the risks. One such benefit is to see if middle and/or super rich classes in terms of wealth and raw contribution have any variation from the poor and rich classes that have been recently studied in the last several years. Another such benefit in terms of experiment structure will show the effect, if any, of changing the variable from a point system to the use of physical/Monopoly money. Both benefits would have a major impact on further studies done in the future of public good dilemmas. The second risk is the minor deception involving the raffle tickets. Instructions will lead participants to believe that their earnings in the investment task will translate into one ticket per $1.00. In actuality, all participants will receive one raffle ticket at the conclusion of their experimental session. Although this is a deception, we feel that it is more ethical to make compensation equal across participants. The alternative would be to allow some participants who had greater allowance by random assignment to have greater chances of winning the raffle.
SUBJECT SELECTIONThe subject selection will be that of 40 students from the freshman and sophomore Psychology 101 classes at Missouri Western State University. They will be selected through use of MWSU Sona subject pool system.
CONFIDENTIALITYAfter the students sign an informed consent sheet, it will then be separated from data collected. The data will not have any identifying information per individual and will be kept in a locked office.
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