Causes of variation in human cooperative behaviour
Item statusRestricted Access
Embargo end date09/07/2019
Munro-Faure, Amy Louise
This thesis investigates variation in human cooperative behaviour in naturally occurring contexts. I critically assess the prevailing consensus on human cooperation derived from laboratory games (such as the dictator and public goods games), by identifying real life analogues and conducting extensive field observation and experiments. My second chapter investigates the importance of context on social behaviour by taking a commonly used laboratory game, the dictator game, and studying analogous behaviour, giving to mendicants in the street. I conclude that individuals cooperate less in the wild than they do in the laboratory and that monetary pay-offs are important in cooperative decision-making. My third chapter examines how social cues influence peoples’ likelihood of giving to mendicants. I conclude that increased group size and crowd density negatively affect donation behaviour. My fourth chapter investigates dog fouling in public parks to understand the causes of variation in cheating in a naturally occurring public goods game. I conclude that despite evidence that a social game is being played, the cues that influences decisions are unclear, and behaviour may depend on local social norms. My fifth chapter investigates social influences on red light jumping by cyclists at pedestrian crossings. I find that the probability of cheating is higher with fewer observers and when other cyclists also cheat.