Friend or Foe: Subjective Expected Relative Similarity as a Determinant of Cooperation

Ilan Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Subjective expected relative similarity (SERS) is a descriptive theory that explains cooperation levels in single-step prisoner's dilemma (PD) games. SERS predicts that individuals cooperate whenever their subjectively perceived similarity with their opponent exceeds a situational index, namely the game's similarity threshold. A thought experiment and 2 experimental studies illustrate and explore SERS's characteristics, showing that the theory predicts cooperation and competition in single-step PD games under 3 informational structures: (a) clear and transparent similarity cues, (b) experienced similarity, and (c) semantic similarity. The study's findings suggest that perceived similarity and its application in SERS play an important role in the evolution of cooperation underlying both kin and group selection mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-350
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Volume138
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • conflict
  • cooperation
  • group selection
  • kin selection
  • prisoner's dilemma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology (all)
  • Developmental Neuroscience

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Friend or Foe: Subjective Expected Relative Similarity as a Determinant of Cooperation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this