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Colorful economics: Seeing red in a prisoner's dilemma game

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  • KAUFMANN, Wesley
  • VAN WITTELOOSTUIJN, Arjen
  • BOONE, Christophe
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    Abstract

    The color red has been found to influence behavior and performance in a wide range of settings. We introduce the color red in a Prisoner’s Dilemma by performing a series of oneshot and repeated Bertrand duopoly laboratory games. We hypothesize a positive relationship between the color red and the number of competitive choices. Furthermore, we expect to see a habituation effect, implying that the impact of red on competitive behavior is more pronounced at the beginning of the experiment, to then fade away over time. Results indicate that the effect of the color red on cooperative behavior is more complex than hypothesized. We find no main effect for the color red, but we do reveal a significant habituation effect of the color red in the one-shot games. Contrary to our expectation, however, an escalation effect emerges in the repeated game, which suggests that the competition-enhancing effect of red is reinforced by receiving feedback about the other party’s choice.

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    File URL: https://www.uantwerpen.be/images/uantwerpen/container1244/files/TEW%20-%20Onderzoek/Working%20Papers/ACED/2009/RPS-2009-017%20ACED%207.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics in its series ACED Working Papers with number 2009007.

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    Length: 36 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ant:acedwp:2009007

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    Web page: https://www.uantwerp.be/en/faculties/applied-economic-sciences/
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    Related research

    Keywords: Color; Cooperation; Prisoners dilemma game;

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    References

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    1. Robert H. Frank & Thomas Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1993. "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 159-171, Spring.
    2. Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S., 1999. "The sound of silence in prisoner's dilemma and dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 43-57, January.
    3. Ortmann, Andreas & Tichy, Lisa K., 1999. "Gender differences in the laboratory: evidence from prisoner's dilemma games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 327-339, July.
    4. Burnham, Terence & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L., 2000. "Friend-or-foe intentionality priming in an extensive form trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 57-73, September.
    5. Kay, Aaron C. & Wheeler, S. Christian & Bargh, John A. & Ross, Lee, 2004. "Material priming: The influence of mundane physical objects on situational construal and competitive behavioral choice," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 83-96, September.
    6. Boone, Christophe & De Brabander, Bert & van Witteloostuijn, Arjen, 1999. "The impact of personality on behavior in five Prisoner's Dilemma games," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 343-377, June.
    7. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    8. Scharlemann, Jorn P. W. & Eckel, Catherine C. & Kacelnik, Alex & Wilson, Rick K., 2001. "The value of a smile: Game theory with a human face," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 617-640, October.
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