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Games 2018, 9(1), 5; doi:10.3390/g9010005

Examining Spillovers between Long and Short Repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma Games Played in the Laboratory

Department of Psychology, Yale University, Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall, 1 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511, USA
Programa de Estudios Longitudinales, Experimentos y Encuestas, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, Aguascalientes, AGS 20313, Mexico
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 November 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Behavior and Game Theory)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: cooperation; Prisoner’s Dilemma; repeated games; spillovers; dictator game; learning cooperation; Prisoner’s Dilemma; repeated games; spillovers; dictator game; learning

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Arechar, A.A.; Kouchaki, M.; Rand, D.G. Examining Spillovers between Long and Short Repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma Games Played in the Laboratory. Games 2018, 9, 5.

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