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Human cooperation across different languages and cultures is a cornerstone of our globalized world. The question arises as to whether cross-cultural and cross-linguistic cooperative behavior differ systematically from cooperative behavior within the same language and culture. In this project, we investigate whether and how the use of a foreign language shapes peoples' willingness to cooperate with others. Experimental evidence from an incentivized one-shot continuous prisoner's dilemma in three languages across three countries leads to novel insights regarding language-specific effects and a general foreign language effect on cooperation.
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Self-serving bias describes the phenomenon, that individuals attribute positive outcomes to themselves (internal factors), while negative outcomes are attributed to external factors.
The possible mechanisms behind foreign language effects appear interrelated and not mutually exclusive—it seems possible that they refer to one and the same phenomenon (discussed in detail in Nothelfer, 2017).
Results from Rand, Greene, and Nowak (2012) are subject to a discussion, after several failed replication attempts (see e.g., Tinghög et al., 2013; Bouwmeester et al., 2017).
A complete three-by-three factorial design may prove even more informative, but would bring little methodological advantage (see Chapter 2).
B2 is an upper intermediate level in the common European framework of reference for language (CEFR).
For an attribution of the questions to specific waves of the German Socio-Economic Panel see Becker, Deckers, Dohmen, Falk, and Kosse (2012).
- Cooperation in Foreign Languages
- Chapter 4
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