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Average player traits as predictors of cooperation in a repeated prisoner's dilemma

Omar Al-Ubaydli (), Garett Jones () and Jaap Weel

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: Many studies have looked at how individual player traits influence individual choice in the repeated prisoner’s dilemma, but few studies have looked at how the average traits of pairs of players influence the average choices of pairs. We consider cognitive ability, patience, risk tolerance, and the Big Five personality measures as predictors of individual and average group choices in a ten-round repeated prisoner’s dilemma. We find that a pair’s average cognitive ability measured by the Raven’s IQ test predicts average cooperation rates robustly and average earnings more modestly. Higher individual cognitive ability also predicts a greater probability of sustaining cooperation in the second round, suggesting that positive reciprocity is more likely among players with higher Raven’s scores. Openness is the only control variable that predicts first-round cooperative behavior.

Keywords: cooperation; IQ; personality; discount rate; patience; risk-aversion; prisoner's dilemma (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D02 D23 O12 O43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp, nep-gth and nep-neu
Date: 2014-02-05
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