The Effects of Fines on Cooperation in a Four-Person Prisoner’s Dilemma Game

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Cooperation is an important area of investigation for behavior analysis. The prisoner’s dilemma game (PDG) provides a useful scenario for studying cooperation in a behavior analytic paradigm. The PDG can be coupled with the concept of the metacontingency to investigate how various contingency arrangements support and promote cooperation in a group. Players in this experiment participated in a PDG and, in some conditions, were given the ability to fine other players but could not talk. The goal of this experiment was to investigate how players’ ability to fine one another affected the players’ patterns of cooperation, and whether fining itself ... continued below

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Morford, Zachary H. August 2011.

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  • Morford, Zachary H.

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Cooperation is an important area of investigation for behavior analysis. The prisoner’s dilemma game (PDG) provides a useful scenario for studying cooperation in a behavior analytic paradigm. The PDG can be coupled with the concept of the metacontingency to investigate how various contingency arrangements support and promote cooperation in a group. Players in this experiment participated in a PDG and, in some conditions, were given the ability to fine other players but could not talk. The goal of this experiment was to investigate how players’ ability to fine one another affected the players’ patterns of cooperation, and whether fining itself was affected by the addition of a shared group consequence. The data show that participants cooperated in some conditions, but the fines did not seem to affect players’ rates of cooperation.

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  • August 2011

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  • May 17, 2012, 9:47 p.m.

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  • Jan. 14, 2014, 4:16 p.m.

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Morford, Zachary H. The Effects of Fines on Cooperation in a Four-Person Prisoner’s Dilemma Game, thesis, August 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84257/: accessed July 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .