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Emotions, Sanctions and Cooperation

  • Mateus Joffily
  • David Masclet
  • Charles N. Noussair
  • Marie-Claire Villeval

We use skin conductance responses and self-reports of hedonic valence to study the emotional basis of cooperation and punishment in a social dilemma. Emotional reaction to free-riding incites individuals to apply sanctions when they are available. The application of sanctions activates a "virtuous emotional circle"" that accompanies cooperation. Emotionally aroused cooperators relieve negative emotions when they punish free riders. In response, the free-riders experience negative emotions when punished, and increase their subsequent level of cooperation. The outcome is an increased level of contribution that becomes the new standard or norm. For a given contribution level, individuals attain higher levels of shared satisfaction when sanctioning institutions are in place. Document available soon." Dans cette étude, nous avons utilisé des mesures physiologiques de conductance électrodermales ainsi que des mesures d'auto déclaration relatives aux émotions dans le cadre d'un jeu de contribution volontaire au financement de biens publics avec opportunité de sanction. Les émotions jouent un rôle à la fois sur les décisions de contribution et de sanction. La réaction émotionnelle à l'observation de comportement opportuniste conduit les agents à sanctionner. En retour, les passagers clandestins font l'expérience d'émotions négatives lorsqu'ils sont sanctionnés et augmentent leur niveau de contribution en conséquence. Document disponible bientôt.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2011s-12.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2011s-12
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  1. Ben-Shakhar, Gershon & Bornstein, Gary & Hopfensitz, Astrid & van Winden, Frans, 2007. "Reciprocity and emotions in bargaining using physiological and self-report measures," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 314-323, June.
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