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Relationship between cooperation in an iterated prisoner's dilemma game and the discounting of hypothetical outcomes

Abstract

A number of authors have proposed that preference for a larger, delayed reward in delay discounting is similar to cooperation in a repeated prisoner's dilemma game versus tit-for-tat. This proposal was examined by correlating delay-discounting (Experiment 1) and probability-discounting (Experiment 2) rates for hypothetical monetary gains and losses with performance in a repeated prisoner's dilemma game. Correlations between rate of delay discounting (discounting parameters and area under the curve) and proportion of cooperation in the repeated prisoner's dilemma game versus tit-for-tat were significant across three magnitudes, and correlations were generally higher with discounting for losses than with that for gains. As was expected, correlations between rate of delay discounting and performance versus a random strategy in the prisoner's dilemma game were not significant. Correlations between rate of probability-discounting and cooperation rate in a repeated prisoner's dilemma game versus neither a tit-for-tat nor a random strategy were significant.

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Correspondence to Richard Yi.

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This research was conducted at the University of Vermont and was funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse Grants R01 DA11692 and T32 DA07242. The first and third authors are now located at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. The second author is located at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

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Yi, R., Johnson, M.W. & Bickel, W.K. Relationship between cooperation in an iterated prisoner's dilemma game and the discounting of hypothetical outcomes. Learning & Behavior 33, 324–336 (2005). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03192861

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03192861

Keywords

  • Delay Discount
  • Cooperation Rate
  • Indifference Point
  • Probability Discount
  • Discount Parameter