The effects of ethnic group cultural differences on the level of cooperative behaviour exhibited in a social dilemma : a New Zealand European-Asian cross-cultural study
The choice between cooperative and competitive behaviour on a simple task was examined using 153 European New Zealanders and 30 Asian subjects drawn from the Lincoln University student population. The aim of the study was to assess the effects of ethnic group cultural differences on the choice to compete or cooperate with another party at the individual and group level. The impact of situation cues favourable to cooperative behaviour were also investigated. In the study, the subjects were classified according to their ethnic background and randomly assigned to either all-European or all-Asian groups. The task employed to assess both individual and group level responses was a two-party version of Prisoner's Dilemma Game, in which participants had to repeatedly choose whether to compete or cooperate with another party. The results of the study provided limited empirical support for the proposition that ethnic differences affect the level of cooperative behaviour. Contrary to expectations, at both the individual and group levels, Asian subjects did not exhibit a more collectivist cooperative orientation to the Prisoner's Dilemma Game than their European counterparts. The collectivist situational cue, however, was found to significantly reduce the level of cooperative behaviour displayed by the European New Zealand subjects, but no such effect was found for Asian subjects. The implications of these findings for New Zealand's workforce in the current climate of increased Asian immigration are discussed, as are the study's limitations and directions for future research.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordscross-cultural; individualism; collectivism; cooperation; competition; prisoner's dilemma; cultural differences; social dilemma; ethnicity; cooperative behaviour
Fields of Research1503 Business and Management; 170113 Social and Community Psychology; 160803 Race and Ethnic Relations
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