Cooperation in Prisoner’s Dilemma Game: Influence of Social Relations


The paper explores the influence of the type of relations among players on cooperation in the Prisoner’s dilemma game. The relations between players are operationalized according to Fiske’s relational models theory (Fiske, 1991): communal sharing, authority ranking, equality matching, and market pricing. This is achieved by using various ways of distributing the total payoff gained by a dyad of players in a series of Prisoner’s dilemma games: each player receives the total payoff (unity), one of the players receives more than the other (hierarchy), each player receives half of the total payoff (equality), each player receives a portion of the total payoff proportional to his/hers individual payoffs (proportionality). For these four conditions, the cooperation rates, the mutual cooperation, the mutual defection, and the payoffs gained are analyzed and compared for a series of forty games. The results show that in the proportionality condition there is less cooperation, less mutual cooperation, more mutual defection and less total payoff than in the other three conditions.

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