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Collective preferences in strategic decisions

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journal contribution
posted on 04.08.2008, 14:34 by Jo Rose, Andrew M. Colman
In the theories of team reasoning of Sugden, and Bacharach, players are assumed to be motivated in some circumstances to maximize collective rather than individual utilities. An experiment was performed to asses whether preferences underlying such collective payoff maximization occur. An opportunistic sample of 50 undergraduate and graduate students, 7 men and 43 women aged 19 to 42 years (M = 23.0, SD = 5.4), expressed preferences among the outcomes of strategic decisions presented in vignettes designed to engage social value orientations of individualism, altruism, competitiveness, equality seeking, or collective preferences. In the vignettes designed to engage collective preferences, and significantly less frequently in the other vignettes, preferences were biased toward outcomes maximizing collective payoffs, and respondents invariably gave team-reasoning explanations for their preferences. These results provide evidence for collective preferences according to theories of team reasoning and empirical support for one of the essential assumptions of these theories.



Psychological Reports, 2007, 101 (3), pp. 803-815


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