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Average player traits as predictors of cooperation in a repeated prisoner's dilemma

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  • Al-Ubaydli, Omar
  • Jones, Garett
  • Weel, Jaap

Abstract

Many studies have looked at how individual player traits influence individual choice in the repeated prisoner’s dilemma, but few studies have looked at how the average traits of pairs of players influence the average choices of pairs. We consider cognitive ability, patience, risk tolerance, and the Big Five personality measures as predictors of individual and average group choices in a ten-round repeated prisoner’s dilemma. We find that a pair’s average cognitive ability measured by the Raven’s IQ test predicts average cooperation rates robustly and average earnings more modestly. Higher individual cognitive ability also predicts a greater probability of sustaining cooperation in the second round, suggesting that positive reciprocity is more likely among players with higher Raven’s scores. Openness is the only control variable that predicts first-round cooperative behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Al-Ubaydli, Omar & Jones, Garett & Weel, Jaap, 2014. "Average player traits as predictors of cooperation in a repeated prisoner's dilemma," MPRA Paper 55383, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:55383
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    1. Where do pro-social institutions come from?
      by pseudoerasmus in Pseudoerasmus on 2015-10-04 05:01:30
    2. Cooperative smarts
      by Eric Crampton in Offsetting Behaviour on 2015-11-02 14:21:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Douglas Davis & Asen Ivanov & Oleg Korenok, 2016. "Individual characteristics and behavior in repeated games: an experimental study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(1), pages 67-99, March.
    2. Duffy, Sean & Naddeo, JJ & Owens, David & Smith, John, 2016. "Cognitive load and mixed strategies: On brains and minimax," MPRA Paper 89720, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Maran, Thomas & Ravet-Brown, Theo & Angerer, Martin & Furtner, Marco & Huber, Stefan E., 2020. "Intelligence predicts choice in decision-making strategies," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    4. Cueva, Carlos & Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Iñigo & Mata-Pérez, Esther & Ponti, Giovanni & Sartarelli, Marcello & Yu, Haihan & Zhukova, Vita, 2016. "Cognitive (ir)reflection: New experimental evidence," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 81-93.
    5. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Espín, Antonio M. & Garcia, Teresa & Kovářík, Jaromír, 2018. "Digit ratio (2D:4D) predicts pro-social behavior in economic games only for unsatisfied individuals," MPRA Paper 86166, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Juan M. Benito-Ostolaza & Penélope Hernández & Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis, 2015. "Are individuals with higher cognitive ability expected to play more strategically?," Working Papers 1507, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    7. Lohse, Johannes, 2016. "Smart or selfish – When smart guys finish nice," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 28-40.
    8. Civelli, Andrea & Deck, Cary, 2018. "A Flexible and Customizable Method for Assessing Cognitive Abilities," Review of Behavioral Economics, now publishers, vol. 5(2), pages 123-147, September.
    9. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Smith, John, 2016. "Cognitive abilities and economic behavior," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-4.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cooperation; IQ; personality; discount rate; patience; risk-aversion; prisoner's dilemma;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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