Experimental Economics

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 490–506

Heterogeneous preferences for altruism: gender and personality, social status, giving and taking


DOI: 10.1007/s10683-011-9278-4

Cite this article as:
Visser, M.S. & Roelofs, M.R. Exp Econ (2011) 14: 490. doi:10.1007/s10683-011-9278-4


Some of the earliest work on heterogeneity in social preferences focuses on gender differences in behavior. The source of these gender differences is the main interest of this paper. We report on dictator game experiments designed to identify heterogeneity of other-regarding preferences according to personality, gender, status, and whether the choice is framed as giving or taking. We find that the effect of gender on giving is more subtle than previously understood, and is explained collectively by various personality factors. We also find that women, high status treatment individuals, and individuals in the giving language treatment give less, and are also less sensitive to the price of giving.


Altruism Status Gender Framing effects Personality 

JEL Classification

A13 C91 D01 D63 D64 

Supplementary material

10683_2011_9278_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (104 kb)
Protocol (PDF 103 KB)

Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsSonoma State UniversityRohnert ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsWestern Washington UniversityBellinghamUSA

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