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Reciprocity Creates Fitness Interdependence

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Title: Reciprocity Creates Fitness Interdependence
Author: Pleasant, Aleta
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: Barclay, Patrick
Abstract: Reciprocal relationships may deepen over time into ones characterized by stake. These relationships are inherently valuable, providing an incentive to help beyond direct exchange. We tested this in an online experiment, where partners could engage in reciprocity preceding an anonymous opportunity to help (N = 478). People anonymously helped cooperative partners when help increased the probability of future interactions with the partner (i.e., when help increased a partner’s “survivability”), compared to when help increased the partner’s earnings (OR = 5.09). Additionally, when help increased survivability it was more often provided to cooperative partners relative to uncooperative ones (OR = 4.50). In experiment 2 we replicated these findings (N = 594): participants anonymously helped cooperative partners when it increased their survivability relative to when it increased final earnings (OR = 5.56), and when help increased survivability it was more often provided to cooperative partners relative to uncooperative ones (OR = 4.46). These results provide empirical support that reciprocity creates stake in a partner.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10214/26448
Date: 2021-08
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