PROMOTING TRUST AND RECIPROCITY IN THE CLASSROOM
The recent economic crisis has highlighted the necessity of redefining the current economic paradigms. A sustainable economic system requires trust, reciprocity and a fair sharing of resources. We are convinced that those are values that to be promoted among new generations, especially among university students of economics degrees.
In such a context, we are interested in promoting critical and active reflection about social values among university students. With this goal in mind, we designed a two-step task that includes a trust game and a discussion activity.
In a first step, using the experimental methodology, we run a new computerized version of Berg, Dickhaut and McCabe’s (1995) trust game. Our design introduce two novelties: i. Information on players’ cumulated earnings, and ii. Free incentives to catch students’ “Animal Spirit” (Loewenstein and O’Donoghue, 2004).
The experimental evidence firstly indicates that information does not have any significant effect on the level of trust. Whereas, there exists a positive information effect on students’ level of reciprocity. In addition, a gender effect is detected in the trustor sample: women show more trustiness than men, on average. In the trustee sample, we found as a significant variable for reciprocity students’ bachelor.
In the second part of the task, the activity proposed constitutes a useful tool for introducing important values and promoting some active reflection, critical opinion and autonomy among students. As a general conclusion, the activity caught students’ attention and stimulated a continuous engagement in the activity.