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, 84 (5), 972-87

Do Not Prime Hawks With Doves: The Interplay of Construct Activation and Consistency of Social Value Orientation on Cooperative Behavior

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Do Not Prime Hawks With Doves: The Interplay of Construct Activation and Consistency of Social Value Orientation on Cooperative Behavior

Dirk Smeesters et al. J Pers Soc Psychol.

Abstract

Low and high consistent pro-socials and pro-selfs were primed with neutral, morality, or might concepts in mixed-motive situations. The authors expected participants' social value orientation to influence cooperative behavior among (a) high consistent individuals in all prime conditions and (b) low consistent individuals in the neutral prime condition only. The authors also expected the primes to influence cooperative behavior more among low than high consistent individuals. Four experiments using supra-liminal (Experiments 1, 2, and 4) or subliminal (Experiment 3) priming and 2-person (Experiments 1-3) or N-person (Experiment 4) social dilemmas partially supported these initial predictions. One intriguing exception was that morality primes reduced cooperation among high consistent pro-selfs. Experiments 2-4 allowed testing for the potential role of expectations in shaping participants' cooperative behavior.

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