How Communication Increases Interpersonal Cooperation in Mixed-Motive Situations

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 39-50, 2010, DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2009.09.009.

50 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2014 Last revised: 27 Jun 2014

See all articles by Taya R. Cohen

Taya R. Cohen

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

Tim Wildschut

University of Southampton

Chester Insko

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Evidence from two experiments indicates that task-related communication promotes cooperation in mixed-motive situations by activating interpersonal norms related to fairness and trust. In Experiment 1, task-related communication increased cooperation between individuals in a three-choice prisoner’s dilemma game (PDG-Alt) but task-unrelated communication did not. In Experiment 2, cooperation was increased both by sending a task-related message to one’s counterpart and receiving a cooperative task-related message from one’s counterpart. Mediation analyses revealed that task-related communication increased cooperation by activating fairness and trust norms (Experiments 1 and 2). Specifically, whereas sending (relative to receiving) a task-related message increased cooperation by activating fairness norms, receiving (relative to sending) a task-related message increased cooperation by activating trust norms (Experiment 2).

Keywords: communication; cooperation; competition; prisoner's dilemma game; PDG-Alt; interpersonal norms; trust; fairness

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Taya R. and Wildschut, Tim and Insko, Chester, How Communication Increases Interpersonal Cooperation in Mixed-Motive Situations (2010). Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 39-50, 2010, DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2009.09.009. , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2458586

Taya R. Cohen (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business ( email )

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
4122686677 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tepper.cmu.edu/our-faculty-and-research/about-our-faculty/faculty-profiles/tcohen/cohen-t

Tim Wildschut

University of Southampton ( email )

University Rd.
Southampton SO17 1BJ, Hampshire SO17 1LP
United Kingdom

Chester Insko

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill ( email )

102 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC NC 27514
United States

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