Title
The effect of oxytocin on cooperation in a prisoner's dilemma depends on the social context and a person's social value orientation
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Applied Economics
Publication type
article
Publication
Subject
Psychology
Sociology
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Social cognitive and affective neuroscience
Volume/pages
9(2014) :6 , p. 802-809
ISSN
1749-5016
ISI
000337076600009
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The interactionist approach to the study of exogenous oxytocin (OT) effects on prosocial behavior has emphasized the need to consider both contextual cues and individual differences. Therefore, an experiment was set up to examine the joint effect of intranasal OT, a salient social cue and the personality trait social value orientation on cooperative behavior in one-shot prisoner's dilemma games. The outcome of these mixed-motive games is known to be highly dependent on values and on social information that might reveal the partner's intent. Consistent with an a priori hypothesis, OT and social information interact significantly to affect the behavior of individuals with a proself value orientation: after prior contact with the game partner, OT enhances cooperative behavior, whereas in anonymous conditions, it exacerbates their intrinsic self-interested behavior. These effects of OT do not hold for individuals with a prosocial value orientation, whose cooperation levels appear to be more influenced by prior contact with the game partner. Follow-up hypotheses for why prosocial and proself individuals respond differently to exogenous OT were developed.
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