The Janus Face of Cooperation - An Intra- and Cross-Cultural Review
Sebastian J. Goerg
This paper introduces a two-sided methodological framework for studies on cooperation based on a new game design. Presented games are continuous prisoner's dilemma games with positive and negative presentations of an identically structured decision problem. Decision makers can choose an individual level of cooperation from a given range of possible actions. Within a cross-cultural experimental study involving Palestinian and Israeli subjects we test for a strategic presentation bias applying our framework. Palestinians show a substantially higher cooperation level in the positive externality treatment. In Israel no presentation effect is observed. Critically discussing our findings, we argue that cross-cultural comparison leads to only partially meaningful and opposed results if only one treatment condition is evaluated. We therefore suggest a complementary application and consideration of different presentations of identical decision problems within cross-cultural research.
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