Games, Experimental

Publication Title: 
Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin

Trustworthiness is a vital pillar of various social interactions hinging upon trust. However, the underlying determinants of trustworthiness-especially in terms of (basic) personality traits-are insufficiently understood. Specifically, three mechanisms underlying trustworthiness have been proposed: unconditional kindness, positive reciprocity, and negative reciprocity.

Thielmann, Isabel
Hilbig, Benjamin E.
Publication Title: 
Human Brain Mapping

In anorexia nervosa, problems with social relationships contribute to illness, and improvements in social support are associated with recovery. Using the multiround trust game and 3T MRI, we compare neural responses in a social relationship in three groups of women: women with anorexia nervosa, women in long-term weight recovery from anorexia nervosa, and healthy comparison women. Surrogate markers related to social signals in the game were computed each round to assess whether the relationship was improving (benevolence) or deteriorating (malevolence) for each subject.

McAdams, Carrie J.
Lohrenz, Terry
Montague, P. Read
Publication Title: 
Transfusion Medicine (Oxford, England)

Why do people donate blood? Altruism is the common answer. However, altruism is a complex construct and to answer this question requires a systematic analysis of the insights from the biology, economics and psychology of altruism. I term this the mechanism of altruism (MOA) approach and apply it here for understanding blood donor motivation. The answer also has enormous implications for the type of interventions we choose to adopt as a society.

Ferguson, E.
Publication Title: 
Psychological Science

We present two studies aimed at resolving experimentally whether religion increases prosocial behavior in the anonymous dictator game. Subjects allocated more money to anonymous strangers when God concepts were implicitly activated than when neutral or no concepts were activated. This effect was at least as large as that obtained when concepts associated with secular moral institutions were primed. A trait measure of self-reported religiosity did not seem to be associated with prosocial behavior.

Shariff, Azim F.
Norenzayan, Ara
Publication Title: 
Neuro Endocrinology Letters

OBJECTIVE: Little is known regarding the relationship between social evaluation-induced neuroendocrine responses and generosity in game-theoretic situations. Previous studies demonstrated that reputation formation plays a pivotal role in prosocial behavior. This study aimed to examine the relationships between a social evaluation-induced salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) response and generosity in the dictator game. The relationship is potentially important in neuroeconomics of altruism and game theory.

Takahashi, Taiki
Ikeda, Koki
Hasegawa, Toshikazu
Publication Title: 
PloS One

How do human beings decide when to be selfish or selfless? In this study, we gave testosterone to 25 men to establish its impact on prosocial behaviors in a double-blind within-subjects design. We also confirmed participants' testosterone levels before and after treatment through blood draws. Using the Ultimatum Game from behavioral economics, we find that men with artificially raised T, compared to themselves on placebo, were 27% less generous towards strangers with money they controlled (95% CI placebo: (1.70, 2.72); 95% CI T: (.98, 2.30)).

Zak, Paul J.
Kurzban, Robert
Ahmadi, Sheila
Swerdloff, Ronald S.
Park, Jang
Efremidze, Levan
Redwine, Karen
Morgan, Karla
Matzner, William
Publication Title: 
Science (New York, N.Y.)

Many people incur costs to reward strangers who have been kind to others. Theoretical and experimental evidence suggests that such "indirect rewarding" sustains cooperation between unrelated humans. Its emergence is surprising, because rewarders incur costs but receive no immediate benefits. It can prevail in the long run only if rewarders earn higher payoffs than "defectors" who ignore strangers' kindness.

Ule, Aljaz
Schram, Arthur
Riedl, Arno
Cason, Timothy N.
Publication Title: 
Evolutionary Psychology: An International Journal of Evolutionary Approaches to Psychology and Behavior

Altruistic behavior is known to be conditional on the level of altruism of others. However, people often have no information, or incomplete information, about the altruistic reputation of others, for example when the reputation was obtained in a different social or economic context. As a consequence, they have to estimate the other's altruistic intentions. Using an economic game, we showed that without reputational information people have intrinsic expectations about the altruistic behavior of others, which largely explained their own altruistic behavior.

Ellers, Jacintha
Pool, Nadia C. E. van der
Publication Title: 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Contemporary economic models hold that instrumental and impulsive behaviors underlie human social decision making. The amygdala is assumed to be involved in social-economic behavior, but its role in human behavior is poorly understood. Rodent research suggests that the basolateral amygdala (BLA) subserves instrumental behaviors and regulates the central-medial amygdala, which subserves impulsive behaviors. The human amygdala, however, typically is investigated as a single unit.

van Honk, Jack
Eisenegger, Christoph
Terburg, David
Stein, Dan J.
Morgan, Barak
Publication Title: 
PloS One

Social life is regulated by norms of fairness that constrain selfish behavior. While a substantial body of scholarship on prosocial behavior has provided evidence of such norms, large inter- and intra-personal variation in prosocial behavior still needs to be explained. The article identifies two social-structural dimensions along which people's generosity varies systematically: group attachment and social position. We conducted lab-in-the-field experiments involving 2,597 members of producer organizations in rural Uganda.

Baldassarri, Delia
Grossman, Guy


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