Examining spillovers between long and short repeated Prisoner’s dilemma games played in the laboratory

Antonio A. Arechar*, Maryam Kouchaki, David G. Rand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We had participants play two sets of repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma (RPD) games, one with a large continuation probability and the other with a small continuation probability, as well as Dictator Games (DGs) before and after the RPDs. We find that, regardless of which is RPD set is played first, participants typically cooperate when the continuation probability is large and defect when the continuation probability is small. However, there is an asymmetry in behavior when transitioning from one continuation probability to the other. When switching from large to small, transient higher levels of cooperation are observed in the early games of the small continuation set. Conversely, when switching from small to large, cooperation is immediately high in the first game of the large continuation set. We also observe that response times increase when transitioning between sets of RPDs, except for altruistic participants transitioning into the set of RPDs with long continuation probabilities. These asymmetries suggest a bias in favor of cooperation. Finally, we examine the link between altruism and RPD play. We find that small continuation probability RPD play is correlated with giving in DGs played before and after the RPDs, whereas high continuation probability RPD play is not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalGames
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Cooperation
  • Dictator game
  • Learning
  • Prisoner’s Dilemma
  • Repeated games
  • Spillovers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics

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