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Title: Social Value Induction and Cooperation in the Centipede Game
Authors: Pulford, Briony D.
Krockow, Eva M.
Colman, Andrew M.
Lawrence, Catherine L.
First Published: 24-Mar-2016
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Citation: PLoS One, 2016, 11 (3), e0152352
Abstract: The Centipede game provides a dynamic model of cooperation and competition in repeated dyadic interactions. Two experiments investigated psychological factors driving cooperation in 20 rounds of a Centipede game with significant monetary incentives and anonymous and random re-pairing of players after every round. The main purpose of the research was to determine whether the pattern of strategic choices observed when no specific social value orientation is experimentally induced-the standard condition in all previous investigations of behavior in the Centipede and most other experimental games-is essentially individualistic, the orthodox game-theoretic assumption being that players are individualistically motivated in the absence of any specific motivational induction. Participants in whom no specific state social value orientation was induced exhibited moderately non-cooperative play that differed significantly from the pattern found when an individualistic orientation was induced. In both experiments, the neutral treatment condition, in which no orientation was induced, elicited competitive behavior resembling behavior in the condition in which a competitive orientation was explicitly induced. Trait social value orientation, measured with a questionnaire, influenced cooperation differently depending on the experimentally induced state social value orientation. Cooperative trait social value orientation was a significant predictor of cooperation and, to a lesser degree, experimentally induced competitive orientation was a significant predictor of non-cooperation. The experimental results imply that the standard assumption of individualistic motivation in experimental games may not be valid, and that the results of such investigations need to take into account the possibility that players are competitively motivated.
DOI Link: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152352
eISSN: 1932-6203
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2016 Pulford et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

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