The social discounting task in economic experiments: a validation in the field and in the lab
Moloi, Tshepo Godfrey
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Altruism is one of the single most important social preferences driving human behaviour. In Psychology experiments, the Social Discounting Task is employed as a measure of directed altruism. A conventional laboratory experiment was conducted with 117 undergraduate students at the University of the Free State, with students randomly assigned to complete the un-incentivized and incentivized Social Discounting Task. The aggregated results exhibit an inverse relationship between social distance and altruism in accordance with the 1/d law of giving. Multiple regression results show that incentivising of the Social Discounting Task does not matter. Results in this dissertation also suggest that family members are more altruistic towards each other as are those exhibiting greater intergenerational solidarity. Social development programmes that can strengthen families and foster intergenerational solidarity may therefore enhance altruism within the family, thus contributing to greater wellbeing.