Human Nature 19 (2):138-156 (2008)

Social dilemmas, in which individually selfish behavior leads to collectively deficient outcomes, continue to be an important topic of research because of their ubiquity. The present research with Japanese participants replicates, with slight modifications, public goods games previously run in the United States. In contrast to recent work showing profound cross-cultural differences, the results of two studies reported here show remarkable cross-cultural similarities. Specifically, results suggest that (1) as in the U.S., allowing incremental commitment to a public good is effective at eliciting contributions, (2) individual differences in trust affect contributions, (3) the distribution of player types in the U.S. and Japan are very similar, and (4) the dynamics of play in the public goods games used here are strikingly parallel. These results are discussed in the context of the relationship between cross-cultural differences and economic institutional environments
Keywords Public goods  Social dilemmas  Cross-cultural research  Japan  Reciprocity
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DOI 10.1007/s12110-008-9034-4
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The Evolution of Reciprocal Altruism.Robert L. Trivers - 1971 - Quarterly Review of Biology 46 (1):35-57.

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