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Cooperating with the outgroup rather than the ingroup: The effects of status, individual mobility, and group mobility on resource allocation and trust in an interactional game

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-10, 16:00 authored by Kevin Durrheim, Colin Tredoux, James Theil, Lungelo Mlangeni, MICHAEL QUAYLEMICHAEL QUAYLE

We describe a team game that implements a social dilemma between ingroup cooperation and defection by self-enriching outgroup exchange. We test hypotheses derived from social identity theory about how group status and belief about individual mobility and group mobility affect exchange behavior. We ran 60 experimental team games between rich and poor groups under one of four experiment conditions in a fully crossed design, manipulating the presence or absence of individual mobility and group mobility beliefs. Each game was played over 10 rounds in which participants generated wealth for self or group by allocating tokens to either the ingroup or outgroup bank or to outgroup individuals. We identify 10 exchange strategies via latent class analysis and show how class membership and resulting perceptions of group trust are predicted by the experimental conditions. The results show that rich status and individual mobility promote defecting exchanges with outgroup individuals, and that behavior under individual mobility beliefs weakens ingroup trust. In contrast, intergroup competition of the group mobility condition did not affect ingroup cooperation versus defection or trust.



Group Processes & Intergroup Relations


Sage Publications

Other Funding information

This research was funded by Grant No: 111836 awarded to the first author by the National Research Foundation of South Africa.

Department or School

  • Psychology

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