Main content

Who cooperates and why? Investigations of the roles of individual differences and reputation in cooperative behaviours.

Show full item record

Title: Who cooperates and why? Investigations of the roles of individual differences and reputation in cooperative behaviours.
Author: Rotella, Amanda
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: Barclay, Pat
Abstract: In this doctoral dissertation, I apply evolutionary and ecological theories to investigate psychological mechanisms that influence cooperative behaviour. Additionally, I investigate how individual differences in prosociality influence these mechanisms, and what contributes to the development of these individual differences in prosociality. I emphasize the role of reputational consequences (i.e., in fitness costs/benefits), and how trade-offs in costs/benefits vary depending on individual differences. I also investigate the underlying trade-offs that contribute to how individual differences in prosociality are developed. In chapters 1 and 2, I investigate how individual differences in prosociality relate to responsivity to moral licensing and cleansing effects (Chapter 1), and the watching eyes effect (Chapter 2). Although I did not find moral licensing or cleansing effects (nor individual difference therein), I conducted a meta-analysis of the underlying effect responsible for moral licensing. I demonstrate that the moral licensing effect is larger when people are observed during the first of two moral actions. After correcting for publication bias, the effect was no different than zero when people where unobserved, suggesting that moral licensing is a reputation-based effect, and not a self-image effect (Chapter 1). In Chapter 2, I failed to replicate the “watching eyes” effect. However, I provide evidence of a partial replication that individual differences in social value orientation (SVO) related to responses to cues of observation. People who were less prosocial (i.e., SVO egoists) gave less in anonymous conditions (but not public conditions) than did those who were more prosocial (i.e., SVO prosocials; Chapter 2). Lastly, in Chapter 2, I use an ecological and biological markets approach to investigate why some people are more cooperative that others. Across three studies and four measures of prosocial personality, I show that dominance, risk-taking, impulsivity, family stress, and socio-sexual orientation have the most predictive validity of prosocial personalities. I provide structural equation models as proof of concept that early childhood stress and embodied capital predict these variables, which in turn predict prosociality (Chapter 3). I conclude by advancing future lines of investigation about how a strong theoretical approach based on reputation and individual differences can advance our understanding of well-established social effects.
Date: 2020-04-30
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Terms of Use: All items in the Atrium are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
Rotella_Amanda_202004_PhD.pdf 6.658Mb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International