ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2023, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (3): 481-495.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00481

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


黄馨茹1, 李健1,2(), 倪荫梅1()   

  1. 1北京大学心理与认知科学学院, 行为与心理健康重点实验室
    2北京大学IDG麦戈文脑科学研究所, 北京 100871
  • 收稿日期:2021-12-20 发布日期:2022-12-22 出版日期:2023-03-25
  • 通讯作者: 李健,倪荫梅;
  • 基金资助:
    国家自然科学基金委员会面上基金(31871140);国家自然科学基金委员会面上基金(32071090);国家科技创新2030(2021ZD0203700);中国博士后科学基金(2021M690 238)

Social norm modulates the enhancement effect of behavioral visibility on altruistic preference

HUANG Xinru1, LI Jian1,2(), NI Yinmei1()   

  1. 1School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health, Peking University
    2IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2021-12-20 Online:2022-12-22 Published:2023-03-25
  • Contact: LI Jian, NI Yinmei;


在不同社会偏好类型中, 研究者较为关注利他偏好及其信号功能。本研究探究在独裁者游戏中, 决策者的利他偏好如何受到分配方案对接受者可见性的影响。实验1采用行为实验结合计算建模的方法, 发现无论在选择或评分条件下, 相比于行为不可见, 当分配者的行为能够为接受者所见时, 分配者都表现出更大程度的利他偏好。此外, 相比于评分条件, 在选择时人们更加在意分配效率。实验2仅使用选择条件, 并操纵社会规范, 发现行为可见增加利他偏好的作用依赖于利他的社会规范, 当存在非利他社会规范时, 行为可见的影响减小。本研究结果表明, 在利他社会规范下, 当行为对接受者可见时, 人们将表现出更多利他偏好。

关键词: 社会偏好, 利他, 行为可见性, 反应类型, 社会规范


In social economic decisions, people not only care about their own payoffs but also the payoffs of others, a tendency termed altruistic preference. Numerous studies have shown that the sheer sense of being observed is sufficient to augment subjects’ altruistic choices. However, whether subjects’ altruistic behavior can be modulated by other stake-holders in the decision context remains unclear. In this study, we provide experimental evidence about the effects of visibility from receivers and social norms on the altruistic preference of the deciders in two studies. First, we confirmed the visibility effect originating from receivers on deciders’ altruistic preference in Study 1. In Study 2, we further showed that social norms modulated the effect of behavior visibility on deciders’ altruistic preference, suggesting a potential avenue via which social norms influence the relationship between behavioral visibility and altruistic preference.

Study 1 implemented a 2 (visibility: visible vs. invisible) × 2 (reaction type: choice vs. rating) × 2 (inequity aversion: AIA vs. DIA) within-subject design. We recruited 38 participants and they were required to either choose from two reward allocation options (choice task) with another partner, or rate how satisfied concerning a particular allocation (rating task) in a dictator game (DG). Participants’ behavior was either observed by their “partners” (visible condition) or remained private (invisible condition). We provided both model-free and model-based evidence for the effects of visibility on altruistic preference. Compared to the invisible condition, participants exhibited greater altruistic preference when their behavior were visible to the receivers (partners). This tendency was significant across both choice and rating tasks. In addition, participants cared more about allocation efficiency in the choice task than in the rating task. Finally, visibility alleviated the behavioral discrepancies between the rating and choice tasks, indicating that social preference and choice strategies tend to converge in the visible condition.

Study 2 implemented a 2 (visibility: visible vs. invisible) × 2 (social norm: altruistic vs. non-altruistic) within-subject design. 53 participants took part in the study with altruistic or non-altruistic social norms. Different social norms were manipulated by presenting the proportions of choosing the unfair options from previous participants: In the altruistic social norm condition, most previous participants chose the option that maximizes others’ relative payoffs, while in the non-altruistic condition it was the opposite. Our results showed that in the altruistic social norm condition, visibility significantly increased participants’ altruistic preference. However, such effect diminished in the non-altruistic social norm condition.

Our study revealed that deciders’ behavioral visibility to receivers increased altruistic preference and promoted altruistic behavior. Furthermore, the altruistic social norm played a modulatory role on the visibility effect, supporting the signaling hypothesis of altruistic preference.

Key words: social preference, altruism, visibility, reaction type, social norm