Review of Behavioral Economics > Vol 4 > Issue 3

Combating the Joy of Destruction with Pro-social Behavior

Calvin Blackwell, College of Charleston, USA, Zachary Diamond, College of Charleston, USA,
Suggested Citation
Calvin Blackwell and Zachary Diamond (2017), "Combating the Joy of Destruction with Pro-social Behavior", Review of Behavioral Economics: Vol. 4: No. 3, pp 275-293.

Published: 09 Nov 2017
© 2017 C. Blackwell and Z. Diamond

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In this article:
1. Introduction
2. Background
3. Materials and Methods
4. Results
5. Discussion


In this experiment we examine the impact of hugs (a pro-social behavior) upon behavior in the Joy of Destruction (JoD) game. Previous research on JoD indicates that up to 40% of experimental participants will choose to lower another participant’s earnings even in the absence of any incentive to do so. Building upon previous work indicating that touch causes an emotional response, and emotions impact decision-making, we hypothesize that hugging, as a form of positive touch, will reduce the spiteful behavior typically exhibited in the JoD. We find evidence to support this hypothesis. We also examine the role of personality, and find no correlation between scores on either the Big Five Inventory or the Mach-IV Inventory and behavior in the JoD.