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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

Valerio Capraro

Middlesex University

Giorgia Cococcioni

LUISS Guido Carli University - Facoltà di Scienze Politiche

Date Written: June 9, 2015

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Capraro, Valerio and Cococcioni, Giorgia, Social Setting, Intuition, and Experience in Laboratory Experiments Interact to Shape Cooperative Decision-Making (June 9, 2015). Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282, 20150237 (2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2559182 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2559182

Valerio Capraro (Contact Author)

Middlesex University ( email )

The Burroughs
London, NW4 4BT
United Kingdom

Giorgia Cococcioni

LUISS Guido Carli University - Facoltà di Scienze Politiche ( email )

United States

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