Context effects in games: Local versus global sequential effects on choice in the prisoner's dilemma game
We report an experiment exploring sequential context effects on strategy choices in one-shot Prisoner's Dilemma (PD) game. Rapoport and Chammah (1965) have shown that some PDs are cooperative and lead to high cooperation rate, whereas others are uncooperative. Participants played very cooperative and very uncooperative games, against anonymous partners. The order in which these games were played affected their cooperation rate by producing perceptual contrast, which appeared only between the trials, but not between two separate sequences of games. These findings suggest that people may not have stable perceptions of absolute cooperativeness. Instead, they judge the cooperativeness of each fresh game only in relation to the previous game. The observed effects suggest that the principles underlying judgments about highly abstract magnitudes such as cooperativeness may be similar to principles governing the perception of sensory magnitudes.
Volume (Year): 2 (2007)
Issue (Month): (December)
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