The Norm-Signaling Effects of Group Punishment: Combining Agent-Based Simulation and Laboratory Experiments

Punishment plays a crucial role in favoring and maintaining social order. Recent studies emphasize the effect of the norm-signaling function of punishment. However, very little attention has been paid so far to the potential of group punishment. We claim that when inflicted by an entire group, the recipient of punishment views it as expressing norms. The experiments performed in this work provide evidence that humans are motivated not only by material incentives that punishment imposes but also by normative information that it conveys. The same material incentive has a different effect on the individuals' future compliance depending on the way it is implemented, having a stronger effect when it also conveys normative information. We put forward the hypothesis that by inflicting equal material incentives, group punishment is more effective in enhancing compliance than uncoordinated punishment, because it takes advantage of the norm-signaling function of punishment. In support of our hypothesis, we present cross-methodological data, that is, data obtained through agent-based simulation and laboratory experiments with human subjects. The combination of these two methods allows us to provide an explanation for the proximate mechanisms generating the cooperative behavior observed in the laboratory experiment.

Publication type: 
Articolo
Author or Creator: 
Daniel Villatoro
Giulia Andrighetto
Jordi Brandts
Luis Gustavo Nardin
Jordi Sabater-Mir
Rosaria Conte
Publisher: 
Sage Publications, [Thousand Oaks, Calif.] , Stati Uniti d'America
Source: 
Social science computer review (Online) (2014). doi:10.1177/0894439313511396
Date: 
2014
Resource Identifier: 
http://www.cnr.it/prodotto/i/275123
https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0894439313511396
info:doi:10.1177/0894439313511396
http://ssc.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/12/06/0894439313511396
Language: 
Eng
ISTC Author: 
rosaria.conte's picture
Real name: 
Giulia Andrighetto's picture
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