Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Ana Valenzuela

Committee Members

Lauren G. Block

Diogo Hildebrand

Kathleen D. Vohs

Subject Categories



Increasingly, consumers’ everyday interactions are facilitated by online platforms. One notable feature of many online platforms is that they give consumers the ability to interact privately or publicly. Interacting publicly (e.g., by sending a public payment) can reveal private information pertaining to two or more consumers; this is known as co-owned information. The present work examines disclosure decisions about co-owned information in the context of peer-to-peer financial transactions. We propose that choosing a private mode of transacting represents a socially mindful behavior, as it considers partners’ preferences and preserves their future ability to keep private or disclose the transaction details. Partners, recognizing private payment as a considerate behavior, infer private (vs. public) payment initiators to possess stronger communal traits, and expect that they will be more likely to cooperate. On the basis of these inferences, partners themselves become more likely to cooperate. We also provide evidence that consumers use the decision to transact privately to signal their own communal orientation, expecting it may encourage cooperation in others. Eight experimental studies conducted in both Europe and the United States support these propositions.

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