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The Effects of social goals on emotions and behavior in social dilemmas

Author: Urda, Julie INSEAD Area: Organisational BehaviourPublisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 2006.Language: EnglishDescription: 112 p. ; 30 cm.Type of document: INSEAD ThesisThesis Note: For the degree of Ph.D. in management, INSEAD, July 2006Bibliography/Index: Includes bibliographical referencesAbstract: Research finds that people pursue status, reciprocity, and group identity not only as means to obtain benefits or avoid disadvantages, but also as ends in themselves. Defined by being active only when people are with others, these ends are called social goals . The psychological mechanism that links social goals to their active pursuit has not been identified. Theory in biology suggests emotions motivate social goal pursuance. Certain behavioral patterns are also associated with different social goals. Striving for status seemingly encourages competitive behavior, while assuring reciprocity and maintaining group identity seemingly encourages cooperation. In two studies I test for evidence that social goals trigger emotions in response to the social context of a stimulus event and influence behavior in social dilemmas. In Study 1 I test the hypothesis that social goals trigger emotions consistently with predictions from appraisal theory. Arbitrary status signals trigger pride; status loss triggers anger and disgust. Violating reciprocity expectations triggers anger; guilt, shame, and sadness attenuate the happiness of receiving a favor, and guilt alleviates the anger of reciprocity violation if the scenario contains a history of the subject's previously refusing to grant a favor. Events happening to salient in-group members trigger emotions as if they have happened to subjects directly. In Study 2 I test whether status increases competitive behavior and whether reciprocity and group identity each increase cooperative behavior in social dilemmas using a one-shot, public goods social dilemma game. By comparing each social goal manipulation to the same control group, I test the hypothesis that each social goal has its own effect on behavior separately from or despite the effects of the other social and individual goals. Experimental data collected from two countries (France and Denmark) shows reciprocity and group identity encourage cooperation, while the influence of status is more difficult to determine. Overall behavioral pattern for both cultures provides preliminary evidence that the effects of these fundamental social goals do not differ in people despite cultural differences. The combined results from both studies provide evidence for determining how social goals and emotions may regulate human behavior in social dilemmas. List(s) this item appears in: Ph.D. Thesis
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For the degree of Ph.D. in management, INSEAD, July 2006

Includes bibliographical references

Research finds that people pursue status, reciprocity, and group identity not only as means to obtain benefits or avoid disadvantages, but also as ends in themselves. Defined by being active only when people are with others, these ends are called social goals . The psychological mechanism that links social goals to their active pursuit has not been identified. Theory in biology suggests emotions motivate social goal pursuance. Certain behavioral patterns are also associated with different social goals. Striving for status seemingly encourages competitive behavior, while assuring reciprocity and maintaining group identity seemingly encourages cooperation. In two studies I test for evidence that social goals trigger emotions in response to the social context of a stimulus event and influence behavior in social dilemmas.
In Study 1 I test the hypothesis that social goals trigger emotions consistently with predictions from appraisal theory. Arbitrary status signals trigger pride; status loss triggers anger and disgust. Violating reciprocity expectations triggers anger; guilt, shame, and sadness attenuate the happiness of receiving a favor, and guilt alleviates the anger of reciprocity violation if the scenario contains a history of the subject's previously refusing to grant a favor. Events happening to salient in-group members trigger emotions as if they have happened to subjects directly.
In Study 2 I test whether status increases competitive behavior and whether reciprocity and group identity each increase cooperative behavior in social dilemmas using a one-shot, public goods social dilemma game. By comparing each social goal manipulation to the same control group, I test the hypothesis that each social goal has its own effect on behavior separately from or despite the effects of the other social and individual goals. Experimental data collected from two countries (France and Denmark) shows reciprocity and group identity encourage cooperation, while the influence of status is more difficult to determine. Overall behavioral pattern for both cultures provides preliminary evidence that the effects of these fundamental social goals do not differ in people despite cultural differences.
The combined results from both studies provide evidence for determining how social goals and emotions may regulate human behavior in social dilemmas.

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