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Cooperation - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780124763500, 9781483274768


1st Edition

An Experimental Analysis

Authors: Gerald Marwell David R. Schmitt
eBook ISBN: 9781483274768
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th January 1975
Page Count: 230
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Cooperation: An Experimental Analysis presents the results of an experimental analysis that sought to identify the factors that inhibit, maintain, or promote cooperation. Two of these factors are given particular attention: inequity and interpersonal risk between potential cooperators. Using a molar approach, the book applies some of the key methodological and theoretical insights of behavioral analysis to a group response that reflects the main conceptual characteristics of cooperation. The extent to which this behavioral response could be controlled by relevant environmental contingencies is also examined.

Comprised of nine chapters, this book begins with an overview of the concept of cooperation and the measurement and experimental design used in the study. It then summarizes the results of the first experiments that focus on the link between inequity and cooperation, followed by a discussion on the effect of interpersonal risk on cooperation. Subsequent chapters focus on the role of protection and communication in promoting cooperation despite the presence of risk; the effects of the relationships between partners on the likelihood of cooperating under risk; and how a strategy of "pacifism" could facilitate cooperation. The final chapter summarizes the results of the experiments.

This monograph will be of interest to social psychologists and sociologists.

Table of Contents




Chapter 1 Introduction: The Study of Cooperation

Chapter 2 Methods: Measurement and Experimental Design

Previous Settings

Setting Characteristics and Procedures

Chapter 3 The First Experiments: Inequity and Cooperation

Inequity Size and Withdrawal from Cooperation

Inequity, Reward Transfers, and Cooperation

A Replication with Children


Chapter 4 Cooperation and Interpersonal Risk

The Effects of Interpersonal Risk: The Small-Risk Experiment

Increasing Risk's Size: The Large-Risk Experiment

Durability of the Risk Effect: The Large-Risk, Extended Experiment


Chapter 5 Cooperation and Interpersonal Risk: Tests for Generality

Part I: Variation in Rewards

Increasing the Rewards for Cooperation: The Large-Risk, Large-Pay Experiment

Eliminating the Rewards for Taking: The Destroy Experiment

Part II: Varying Other Characteristics of Risk

The Effects of Scheduling: The Intermittent Availability of Risk Experiment

Distributing the Ability to Take: The Asymmetric Risk Experiment

Part III: Cross-Procedural and Cross-Population Replications

A Cross-Procedural Replication: The Simplified Setting Experiment

Comparison with Methods of Standard Risk Experiment

A Cross-Cultural Replication: The Basic Norwegian Experiment

The Effect of Sex Roles: The Mixed-Sex Experiment

Chapter 6 Achieving Cooperation Under Risk: Protection and Communication

Removing the "Safe" Alternative—The Large-Risk, No-Protection Experiment

Counteracting Risk through Warning: The Signaled Avoidance Experiment

Creating Nonrisk Conditions: The Free-Operant Avoidance Experiment

Preventing Conflict through Talking: The Open Communication Experiment

Ending Conflict through Talking: The Delayed Communication Experiment

Chapter 7 Achieving Cooperation under Risk: Relations between People

Part I: Minimal Relations

The Other Person Is Real: The Pre-Session Visibility Experiment

Increasing the Contact: The Pre-Session Communication Experiment

Still More Exposure: The Visibility Experiment

Part II: Maximal Relations

Common Resources: The Married Couples Experiment

Close Past Relationships but Separate Economies: The Best Friends Experiment

Part III: The Invocation of Group Norms

Invoking Outside Norms: The "Steal" Experiment

Using Community Norms: The Rip-Off Experiment

The Demand Characteristics of the Instructions

Part IV: Inequity and Interpersonal Risk

Chapter 8 Achieving Cooperation Under Risk: Pacifism

Unconditional Cooperation: The Total Pacifism Experiment

Defining the Situation: Two Delayed-Pacifism Experiments

Reducing Hostilities: The Pacifism Conflict Experiment

A Cross-Cultural Replication: The American Pacifism Experiment

Conclusions: Comparison with Previous Research

Chapter 9 Conclusion and Speculations


Interpersonal Risk

Structuring the Environment for Cooperative Behavior: Some Implications

Appendix An Experiment Comparing Social Coordination in the Cohen-Lindsley and Modified Settings


Author Index

Subject Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1975
28th January 1975
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Authors

Gerald Marwell

David R. Schmitt

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