Bonnefon, Jean-François, De Neys, Wim and Hopfensitz, Astrid (2013) Low second-to-fourth digit ratio predicts indiscriminate social suspicion, not improved trustworthiness detection. TSE Working Paper, n. 13-385

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Testosterone administration appears to make individuals less
trusting, and this effect was interpreted as an adaptive
adjustment of social suspicion, that improved the accuracy of
trusting decisions. Here we consider another possibility, namely
that testosterone increases the subjective cost of being duped,
decreasing the propensity to trust without improving the
accuracy of trusting decisions. In line with this hypothesis, we
show that second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D:4D, a proxy for
organising effects of testosterone in the foetus) correlates with
the propensity to trust but not with the accuracy of trusting
decisions. Trust game players (N=144) trusted less when they
had lower 2D:4D (high prenatal testosterone), but their ability to
detect the strategy of other players was constant (and better
than chance) across all levels of digit ratio. Our results suggest
that early prenatal organizing effects of testoterone in the foetus
might impair rather than boost economic outcomes, by
promoting indiscriminate social suspicion.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Language: English
Date: February 2013
JEL Classification: C91 - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
D03 - Behavioral Economics; Underlying Principles
D64 - Altruism
D87 - Neuroeconomics
Divisions: TSM Research (Toulouse), TSE-R (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2014 17:34
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2021 15:48
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