Inducing Cooperative Behavior among Proselfs versus Prosocials: The Moderating Role of Incentives and Trust
This study investigates how an individualâ€™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 prisonerâ€™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.
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