Individual differences in behavioural inhibition explain free riding in public good games when punishment is expected but not implemented
Skatova, Anya and Ferguson, Eamonn (2013) Individual differences in behavioural inhibition explain free riding in public good games when punishment is expected but not implemented. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 9 (3). ISSN 1744-9081
Official URL: http://www.behavioralandbrainfunctions.com/content/9/1/3
Background: The literature on social dilemmas and punishment focuses on the behaviour of the punisher. However, to fully explain the effect of punishment on cooperation, it is important to understand the psychological mechanisms influencing the behaviour of those who expect to be punished. This paper examines whether the expectation of punishment, rather than the implementation of punishment is sufficient to prevent individuals from free riding. Individual differences in the punishment sensitivity have been linked to both threat responses (flight, fight, fear system, or the FFFS) and to the response to the uncertainty of punishment (BIS-anxiety).The paper, therefore, examines if individual differences in BIS-anxiety and FFFS can explain some of the variability in free riding in the face of implemented and non-implemented punishment.
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