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Title:Necessary and Sufficient Criticality in a Minimal Cooperating Set Dilemma: A Revised Application of Prospect Theory
Author(s):Olson, Michael Joseph
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):David Budescu
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Social
Abstract:Two studies test competing predictions for cooperativeness in a step-level dilemma from five hypotheses derived from models of Expected Utility, fairness, fear and greed, and two approaches of Prospect Theory. Participants, in groups of size n = 7, could chose cooperatively or non-cooperatively for each of several games that varied by level of provision threshold (m), decision frame, and apparent cooperativeness of others, (P(C)). While none of the hypotheses received conclusive support, several were firmly rebutted. Predictions based on principles of fairness received the strongest support as the expected cooperativeness of others, was positively correlated with cooperativeness across most conditions. Both cooperativeness and P(C) increased with provision threshold. In Study 1, an interaction between the effects of frame and manipulated levels of P(C) was found, such that there was no effect for P(C) in the loss frame but a positive effect of P(C) on cooperativeness in the gain frame. However, the effect was not replicated with subjective P(C) in Study 2. These studies also examined the relationships among several measures of criticality that differed in their definitions. Of the criticality measures examined, only a direct, qualitatively defined subjective measure (i.e., "the likelihood that you will affect the outcome") was consistently and positively correlated with rates of cooperation. The fact that both P(C) and (only) the subjective measure of criticality were positively correlated with decisions, as well as with each other, even when m = 1, indicates that subjective interpretations of criticality are distinct from the qualitative definition, i.e., the probability that precisely m-1 others will cooperate, assumed in the literature.
Issue Date:1997
Description:97 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9737212
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1997

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