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Cooperation in a Risky Environment: Decisions from Experience in a Stochastic Social Dilemma

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Author Info

  • Florian Artinger

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin)

  • Nadine Fleischhut

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin)

  • M. Vittoria Levati

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, and Department of Economics, University of Verona)

  • Jeffrey R. Stevens

    ()
    (Department of Psychology, Nebraska)

Abstract

Often in cooperative situations, many aspects of the decision-making environment are uncertain. We investigate how cooperation is shaped by the way information about risk is presented (from description or from experience) and by differences in risky environments. Drawing on research from risky choice, we compare choices in stochastic social dilemmas to those in lotteries with equivalent levels of risk. Cooperation rates in games vary with different levels of risk across decision situations with the same expected outcomes, thereby mimicking behavior in lotteries. Risk presentation, however, only affected choices in lotteries, not in stochastic games. Process data suggests that people respond less to probabilities in the stochastic social dilemmas than in the lotteries. The findings highlight how an uncertain environment shapes cooperation and call for models of the underlying decision processes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2012-047.

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Date of creation: 20 Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2012-047

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Keywords: Decisions from Experience; Social Dilemma; Cooperation; Risky Choice; Public Good.;

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  1. Yoella Bereby-Meyer & Alvin E. Roth, 2006. "The Speed of Learning in Noisy Games: Partial Reinforcement and the Sustainability of Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1029-1042, September.
  2. M. Levati & Andrea Morone & Annamaria Fiore, 2009. "Voluntary contributions with imperfect information: An experimental study," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 199-216, January.
  3. Min Gong & Jonathan Baron & Howard Kunreuther, 2009. "Group cooperation under uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 251-270, December.
  4. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
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