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date: 19 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The author reviews the factors that influence people to act prosocially in a social dilemma, which is a situation in which there is not only a personal disincentive to be group-regarding but also a strong incentive to take advantage of the helpful actions of others. Our focus, then, is on the phenomena that steer people away from these temptations and toward acting for the good of the group, a behavior that happens far more frequently than rational models predict. The author looks at the individual, motivational, and situational influences on cooperative social dilemma choice and introduces some biological correlates that may also have influential properties. He finishes by speculating on how the data from these different perspectives might be tied together into a more comprehensive model than currently exists.

Keywords: social dilemmas, cooperation, social value orientation, mixed-motive situations

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