Speaker: Nicholas Umashev

Affiliation: The University of Queensland

Location: Boardroom (629), Colin Clark Building (#39)

Zoom: https://uqz.zoom.us/j/9142512302


Antisocial preferences are defined as actions that harm others, encompassing notions such as spite, destruction, and punishment (Bolle et al., 2014; Abbink and Sadrieh, 2009; Zizzo and Oswald, 2001). Examples of this type of behaviour are rife throughout society, from school bullying to corrupt banking. Such misdeeds beg the question, what are the causes and consequences of antisocial behaviour? The three chapters within this PhD thesis aim to address this question across several dimensions.

Chapter 1 addresses the circumstances in which antisocial individuals can be convinced that a social norm is prosocial and, as a result, be persuaded to follow this social norm. In this chapter, we use a Bayesian Persuasion framework combined with a model of descriptive norms under asymmetric information. Given a sender who prefers all receivers to act prosocially, we analyse the optimal structure of their signal over the social norm and derive conditions under which they can induce antisocial receivers to act prosocially.

Chapter 2 aims to understand the context in which individuals will signal that they are antisocial and whether these signals can induce their recruitment by a principal. Specifically, we investigate the role of dishonesty as a signal in principal-agent settings and whether dishonesty can be perceived as a desirable trait when making recruitment decisions. This involves an experimental study in which an employer benefits from hiring a dishonest employee, who in turn has the opportunity to negatively affect the payoffs of a third party.

Chapter 3 explores the relationship between charitable giving and moral balancing, a phenomenon where people will use previous prosocial deeds to justify current antisocial behaviour and vice versa. In this chapter, we use an experiment wherein participants are presented with several morally conflicting de- cisions under prosocial and antisocial frames. We also explore the impact of luck on subsequent moral behaviour.



Colin Clark Building (#39)
Boardroom (629)