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Cooperation in social dilemmas: The necessity of seeing self-control conflict

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Author Info

  • Peter Martinsson

    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Kristian Ove R. Myrseth

    (ESMT European School of Management and Technology)

  • Conny Wollbrant

    (University of Gothenburg)

Abstract

Individuals in a social dilemma may experience a self-control conflict between urges to act selfishly and their better judgment to cooperate. Pairing a public goods game with a subtle framing technique, we test whether perception of self-control conflict strengthens the association between self-control and cooperation. Consistent with our hypothesis, cooperative behavior is positively associated with self-control for individuals in the treatment that raised the relative likelihood of perceiving conflict, but not associated with self-control in the treatment that lowered the likelihood. These results help advance our understanding of the role of self-control in social interaction.

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File URL: http://static.esmt.org/publications/workingpapers/ESMT-10-004_R1.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2012
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ESMT European School of Management and Technology in its series ESMT Research Working Papers with number ESMT-10-004 (R1).

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: 26 Jul 2010
Date of revision: 16 Nov 2012
Handle: RePEc:esm:wpaper:esmt-10-004

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Related research

Keywords: self-control; pro-social behavior; public good experiment; conditional cooperation;

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Cited by:
  1. Kristian Ove R. Myrseth & Gerhard Riener & Conny Wollbrant, 2013. "Tangible temptation in the social dilemma: Cash, cooperation, and self-control," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-13-04, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
  2. Daniel Houser & Natalia Montinari & Marco Piovesan, 2012. "Private and Public Decisions in Social Dilemmas: Evidence from ChildrenÕs Behavior," Working Papers 1034, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
  3. Martin G. Kocher & Peter Martinsson & Kristian Ove R. Myrseth & Conny Wollbrant, 2013. "Strong, Bold, and Kind: Self-Control and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas," CESifo Working Paper Series 4200, CESifo Group Munich.

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