Parochial trust and cooperation across 17 societies

Angelo Romano, Daniel Balliet, Toshio Yamagishi, James H. Liu

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

International challenges such as climate change, poverty, and intergroup conflict require countries to cooperate to solve these complex problems. However, the political tide in many countries has shifted inward, with skepticism and reluctance to cooperate with other countries. Thus, cross-societal investigations are needed to test theory about trust and cooperation within and between groups. We conducted an experimental study in 17 countries designed to test several theories that explain why, who, and where people trust and cooperate more with ingroup members, compared with outgroup members. The experiment involved several interactions in the trust game, either as a trustor or trustee. We manipulated partner group membership in the trust game (ingroup, outgroup, or unknown) and if their reputation was at stake during the interaction. In addition to the standard finding that participants trust and cooperate more with ingroup than outgroup members, we obtained findings that reputational concerns play a decisive role for promoting trust and cooperation universally across societies. Furthermore, men discriminated more in favor of their ingroup than women. Individual differences in cooperative preferences, as measured by social value orientation, predicted cooperation with both ingroup and outgroup members. Finally, we did not find support for three theories about the cross-societal conditions that influence the degree of ingroup favoritism observed across societies (e.g., material security, religiosity, and pathogen stress). We discuss the implications for promoting cooperation within and between countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12702-12707
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume114
Issue number48
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2017

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outgroup
test theory
society
value-orientation
interaction
group membership
reputation
climate change
poverty
experiment
Group

Keywords

  • Cooperation
  • Culture
  • Parochial altruism
  • Reputation
  • Trust

Cite this

Romano, Angelo ; Balliet, Daniel ; Yamagishi, Toshio ; Liu, James H. / Parochial trust and cooperation across 17 societies. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2017 ; Vol. 114, No. 48. pp. 12702-12707.
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Parochial trust and cooperation across 17 societies. / Romano, Angelo; Balliet, Daniel; Yamagishi, Toshio; Liu, James H.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 114, No. 48, 28.11.2017, p. 12702-12707.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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