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Encouraging cooperation: revisiting solidarity and commitment effects in prisoners' dilemma games

Mulford, Matthew, Jackson, Jonathan and Svedsäter, Henrik (2008) Encouraging cooperation: revisiting solidarity and commitment effects in prisoners' dilemma games. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38 (12). pp. 2964-2989. ISSN 0021-9029

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Abstract

Pre-play discussion consistently increases cooperation in dilemma interactions. Most explanations of this "cheap-talk" effect are based on either commitment or group solidarity effects. Because discussion about the upcoming dilemma allows participants to make promises and creates group solidarity, the 2 explanations are often confounded. This paper aims to clarify past results by having participants engage in an unrelated discussion prior to a dilemma interaction. We find that solidarity effects can be induced by minimal group categorizations, but are relatively weak. Discussions involving consequential but unrelated coordination tasks are shown to prime cooperative norms and increase cooperation with both in-group and out-group members. Our findings suggest that cheap talk may work for even cheaper reasons than previously thought.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/1185312...
Additional Information: © 2008 The Authors
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Sets: Research centres and groups > Mannheim Centre for Criminology
Departments > Methodology
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2008 14:40
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/21533/

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