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Intelligent people defect more in a one-shot prisoner’s dilemma game

Kanazawa, Satoshi ORCID: 0000-0003-3786-8797 and Fontaine, Linus (2013) Intelligent people defect more in a one-shot prisoner’s dilemma game. Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, 6 (3). pp. 201-213. ISSN 1937-321X

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Identification Number: 10.1037/npe0000010


Why so many people make the theoretically irrational decision to cooperate in a one-shot Prisoner’s Dilemma game remains a puzzle in game theory. Recent developments in evolutionary psychology suggest that the anomaly may be attributable to evolutionary constraints on the human brain and their interaction with general intelligence. We conduct a laboratory experiment to test three hypotheses: (a) projection of a video image of another experimental subject increases cooperation because the human brain implicitly assumes that their choice is not anonymous; (b) more intelligent individuals are more likely to defect, because they are more likely to comprehend the evolutionarily novel features of the experiment that make defection rational; and (c) the effect of the video projection on cooperation is greater among less intelligent individuals. The experiment clearly supports two of the three hypotheses.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 American Psychological Association
Divisions: Management
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2013 10:29
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:41

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