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Communication and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas: A Meta-Analytic Review


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  • Daniel Balliet

    (Singapore Management University, Singapore)

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    Among the most researched solutions to social dilemmas is communication. Since the late 1950s, it has been well known that communication enhances cooperation in social dilemmas. This article reports a meta-analysis of this literature (forty-five effect sizes) and finds a large positive effect of communication on cooperation in social dilemmas (d = 1.01). This effect is moderated by the type of communication, with a stronger effect of face-to-face discussion (d = 1.21) compared to written messages (d = 0.46). The communication-cooperation relationship is also stronger in larger, compared to smaller, group social dilemmas. Whether communication occurred before or during iterated dilemmas did not statistically affect the communication-cooperation effect size. Results are discussed according to theory and research on communication in social dilemmas.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Peace Science Society (International) in its journal Journal of Conflict Resolution.

    Volume (Year): 54 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 39-57

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    Handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:54:y:2010:i:1:p:39-57

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    Keywords: social dilemmas; communication; cooperation; conflict; meta-analysis;


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