Dislike or Distrust? The Dynamics of Non-Cooperation Among Jewish and Arab Israelis
Posted: 6 May 2003
Date Written: February 2003
This study examines the dynamics of non-cooperation in the context of an intractable ethnic conflict. Arab Israeli participants interacted with members of their own ethnicity or with Jewish Israeli participants in a mixed-motive decision task. In each case, participants were given a monetary incentive to not cooperate, but if both parties were non-cooperative, the total value of the outcome would be minimized. The experiment also varied the level of risk participants faced in low-risk conditions participants were informed that the other party had already chosen to cooperate, while in high-risk conditions they were told that neither party would know what the other had chosen before making their own decision. In addition, presenting some participants with a group-vs-group decision frame while others with an individual-vs-individual decision frame tested for the impact of making the inter-group nature of the underlying conflict salient. Finally, we tested whether a participant's attitudes regarding empathy, trust, and distrust towards members of the out-group predicted his/her behavior in the various risk and framing conditions. The paper discusses a number of interesting results of the study and suggests implications for conflict resolution and for better understanding existing theories of inter-group conflict.
Keywords: Trust, Ethnic Conflict, Cooperation
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