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Journal Article

A Multinational investigation of cross-societal cooperation


Dorrough,  Angela
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;


Glöckner,  Andreas
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Dorrough, A., & Glöckner, A. (2016). A Multinational investigation of cross-societal cooperation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(39), 10836-10841.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-80D0-1
In a globalized world, establishing successful cooperation between people from different nations is becoming increasingly important. We present results from a comprehensive investigation of cross-societal cooperation in one-shot prisoner’s dilemmas involving population-representative samples from six countries and identify crucial facilitators of and obstacles to cooperation. In interactions involving mutual knowledge about only the other players’ nationalities, we demonstrate that people hold strong and transnationally shared expectations (i.e., stereotypes) concerning the cooperation level of interaction partners from other countries. These expectations are the strongest determinants of participant cooperation. Paradoxically, however, they turn out to be incorrect stereotypes that even correlate negatively with reality. In addition to erroneous expectations, participants’ cooperation behavior is driven by (shared) social preferences that vary according to the interaction partner’s nationality. In the cross-societal context, these social preferences are influenced by differences in wealth and ingroup favoritism, as well as effects of specific country combinations but not by spatial distance between nations.