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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2018 Dec;115(6):1054-1074. doi: 10.1037/pspi0000144. Epub 2018 Aug 13.

How to give away your cake and eat it too: Relinquishing control prompts reciprocal generosity.

Author information

1
Booth School of Business.
2
Department of Psychology.

Abstract

Many resource allocations confer two rewards, but these rewards typically work in opposition to one another: Reputational rewards come to those who give and material rewards to those who receive. Eight studies reveal that abdicating a resource allocation decision-that is, giving away one's right to choose to someone else-may allow these two rewards to work in tandem. We found that people frequently abdicated to others, and abdication often prompted others to reciprocate by giving away the better of two items. This occurred in part because people perceived abdication to be generous; in fact, individuals who abdicated seemed nearly as generous as individuals who gave away the better item to begin with. Paradoxically, abdicating confers both the reputational benefits of giving and (often) the material benefits of getting. This finding has implications for everyday resource sharing behavior and as well as for theories of fairness and reciprocity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

PMID:
30102061
DOI:
10.1037/pspi0000144
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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