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The Empathy Game: How Imposing a Cost to Helping Affects an Individual's Behavior
AdvisorPingle, Mark A.
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Empathetic behavior is unlikely to occur when a cost is imposed on helping. Prior research has examined reciprocity, altruism, and trust in simple game experiments while alluding to empathy. We expand this research by designing an experiment that takes away a common aspect of simple trust games: rewarding helping behavior. The results show that individuals are more likely to help strangers when there is no cost to helping. The results also show that the likelihood of an individual helping someone else decreases when the cost of helping increases.