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Inducing Cooperative Behavior among Proselfs versus Prosocials: The Moderating Role of Incentives and Trust


  • Christophe Boone

    (Department of Management, Faculty of Applied Economics, University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium)

  • Carolyn Declerck

    (Department of Management, Faculty of Applied Economics, University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium,

  • Toko Kiyonari

    (School of Social Informatics, Aoyama Gakuin University, Sagamihara-city, Kanagawa, Japan)


This study investigates how an individual’s social value orientation (SVO) interacts with explicit cooperative incentives on one hand, and intrinsic and extraneously induced trust on the other hand, to affect cooperative behavior. In three experiments, subjects (n = 322) played a one-shot prisoner’s dilemma (PD; with weak cooperative incentives) and an assurance game (AG; with strong cooperative incentives) in conditions with or without trust signals. The authors found, as expected, that cooperative behavior is strongly spurred by explicit incentives, but not by trust, among people with a proself value orientation. Conversely, trust is very important to enhance cooperative behavior of participants with a prosocial value orientation, whereas explicit incentives are less important compared to proselfs. The authors conclude that this study reveals two fundamentally different logics of cooperative behavior: one based on extrinsic incentives and the other on trust.

Suggested Citation

  • Christophe Boone & Carolyn Declerck & Toko Kiyonari, 2010. "Inducing Cooperative Behavior among Proselfs versus Prosocials: The Moderating Role of Incentives and Trust," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 54(5), pages 799-824, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:54:y:2010:i:5:p:799-824

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    1. repec:bla:stratm:v:38:y:2017:i:9:p:1755-1773 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kurt A. Ackermann & Jürgen Fleiß & Ryan O. Murphy, 2013. "Reciprocity as an individual difference," Working Paper Series, Social and Economic Sciences 2013-05, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz.
    3. repec:gam:jgames:v:8:y:2017:i:2:p:20-:d:95455 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:ecolec:v:147:y:2018:i:c:p:365-372 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. DECLERCK, Carolyn H. & BOONE, Christophe & KIYONARI, Toko, 2011. "No place to hide: When shame causes proselfs to cooperate," Working Papers 2011018, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    6. repec:taf:apeclt:v:23:y:2016:i:16:p:1157-1161 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Christoph Engel & Lilia Zhurakhovska, 2016. "When is the risk of cooperation worth taking? The prisoner’s dilemma as a game of multiple motives," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(16), pages 1157-1161, November.


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