Cooperation in Social Dilemmas: The Necessity of Seeing Self-Control Conflict
60 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2010 Last revised: 17 Nov 2012
Date Written: November 16, 2012
Individuals in a social dilemma may experience a self-control conflict between urges to act selfishly and their better judgment to cooperate. Pairing a public goods game with a subtle framing technique, we test whether perception of self-control conflict strengthens the association between self-control and cooperation. Consistent with our hypothesis, cooperative behavior is positively associated with self-control for individuals in the treatment that raised the relative likelihood of perceiving conflict, but not associated with self-control in the treatment that lowered the likelihood. These results help advance our understanding of the role of self-control in social interaction.
Keywords: Self-Control, Pro-Social Behavior, Public Good Experiment, Conditional Cooperation
JEL Classification: D01, D03, D64, D70
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation