ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (12): 1907-1916.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01907

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The profit sacrificing tendency of reputation-profit game

TAN Chenhao1; WANG Yibo1; CUI Yichen1,3; WANG Pei1,2   

  1. (1 Department of Psychology, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China) (2 School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China) (3 Institute of Ideological and Political Education, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China)
  • Received:2014-04-03 Online:2016-12-15 Published:2016-12-15
  • Contact: WANG Pei, E-mail:


A situation in which one must make a choice between his reputation and profit is so called a reputation-profit game. Individual usually tends to sacrifice their profit to obtain reputation in this kind of game. Competitive altruism theory regards the reputation obtaining behavior as a strategy with which one can attract investor’s interest to gain more profit from the investment in the future. The identity of the observer would affect the degree of gamer’s tendency of reputation obtaining behavior. According to the purpose of reputation, observer’s objective capacity to pay back the investment of reputation (e.g. ability) which would decide the upper limit of the possible benefits in the future and observer’s subjective capacity to pay back the investment of reputation (e.g. social distance) which means the degree to which the gamer believes the observer would give him the chance would affect the generating of reputation obtaining behavior jointly. And these two capacities should be viewed as core factors which would decide the tendency of the game. Based on these two core factors, three levels of identity information (detailed/specific/ambiguous identity) should be taken seriously in future researches to verify the effectiveness of these two factors and provide empirical evidences for the construction of the mechanism of reputation-profit game.

Key words: reputation-profit game, reputation, competitive altruism, social identity