Social Setting, Intuition, and Experience in Laboratory Experiments Interact to Shape Cooperative Decision-Making
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282, 20150237 (2015)
26 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2015 Last revised: 20 Dec 2015
Date Written: June 9, 2015
Recent studies suggest that cooperative decision-making in one-shot interactions is a history-dependent dynamic process: promoting intuition versus deliberation has typically a positive effect on cooperation (dynamism) among people living in a cooperative setting and with no previous experience in economic games on cooperation (history-dependence). Here we report on a lab experiment exploring how these findings transfer to a non-cooperative setting. We find two major results: (i) promoting intuition versus deliberation has no effect on cooperative behavior among inexperienced subjects living in a non-cooperative setting; (ii) experienced subjects cooperate more than inexperienced subjects, but only under time pressure. These results suggest that cooperation is a learning process, rather than an instinctive impulse or a self-controlled choice, and that experience operates primarily via the channel of intuition. In doing so, our findings shed further light on the cognitive basis of human cooperative decision-making and provide further support for the recently proposed Social Heuristics Hypothesis.
Keywords: cooperation, dual process, learning, prisoner's dilemma
JEL Classification: C70, C79, C90, C91, C92, D64, D70, D71, H41
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