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Reciprocal beliefs and out-group cooperation: evidence from a public good game

Brañas-Garza, Pablo and Coulson, Mark and Kernohan, David and Oyediran, Olusegun and Rivas, M. Fernanda (2014): Reciprocal beliefs and out-group cooperation: evidence from a public good game.

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Abstract

This study examined latent racial prejudice towards specified out-groups among 152 Spanish college students in a two-stage research strategy using a public goods game. When asked how generous various out-groups are, Asian, and Western groups were perceived as more generous than the in-group, whereas African and Latin American groups were perceived as less generous. When participants were incentivized, with payoff contingent on the accuracy of guesses, and accuracy quantified as performance of the relevant groups in a similar task to the one employed here, participants evidenced prejudice against African and Latin American groups, and towards Asian and Western groups. Models of racial beliefs were fitted for the four groups, however we do not find satisfactory explanations for why questionnaire response and lab behaviour did not match. Implications of the use of behavioural economic games in prejudice research are discussed.

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