Special Issue "Advances in Research on Social Dilemmas"

A special issue of Games (ISSN 2073-4336).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Vincent Buskens
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
Interests: Experimental Sociology; Mathematical Sociology; Research Methods; Social Networks; Game Theory; Theoretical Sociology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Rense Corten
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
Interests: Computational Social Sciences; Experimental Sociology; Social Media; Social Networks; Sociology; Game Theory; Citizens' Collectivities; Sharing Economy
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Wojtek Przepiorka
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
Interests: Quantitative research methods; Analytical sociology; Economic sociology; Organizational behavior
Prof. Dr. Werner Raub
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
Interests: sociology; interface of analytical social science and philosophy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research on social dilemmas is a topic of the social sciences, including economics, sociology, political science, and social psychology, to name only a few. This Special Issue is explicitly open to contributions from different social science disciplines as well as interdisciplinary work. Submissions based on formal game-theoretic modeling as well as informal but sufficiently rigorous “game-theory-inspired reasoning”, including, for example agent-based modeling, are welcome. We are specifically inviting submissions that address social dilemma problems in new research domains and fields such as incentive problems in science as a social system and studies on exchange involving illegal transactions on online platforms in the dark net. With respect to methods, submissions employing experimental designs (lab, online, and/or field) are welcome, as are studies with quasi-experimental designs using observational data from traditional (survey) and new sources (online), and meta-analyses. Papers using neuroscience methods are likewise welcome. We will also be happy to consider papers of a more methodological nature. This could be papers that combine complementary methodologies and designs to address the same research questions or test similar hypotheses. Papers that focus on linking micro and macro levels of analysis are also welcome.

Prof. Vincent Buskens
Dr. Rense Corten
Dr. Wojtek Przepiorka
Prof. Werner Raub
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Games is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • social dilemmas
  • game-theoretic models
  • agent-based models
  • applications in new research domains and fields
  • experimental designs
  • observational designs
  • neuroscience methods
  • complementary methodologies and designs

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
The Development of Prosociality: Evidence for a Negative Association between Age and Prosocial Value Orientation from a Representative Sample in Austria
Games 2021, 12(3), 67; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/g12030067 - 15 Sep 2021
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Abstract
While the ontogeny of prosociality during infancy, childhood, and adolescence has received substantial attention over the last decades, little is known about how prosocial preferences develop beyond emerging adulthood. Recent evidence suggests that the previously observed positive association between age and prosocial preferences [...] Read more.
While the ontogeny of prosociality during infancy, childhood, and adolescence has received substantial attention over the last decades, little is known about how prosocial preferences develop beyond emerging adulthood. Recent evidence suggests that the previously observed positive association between age and prosocial preferences is less robust than assumed. This study reports results on the association between social preferences, age, gender, and education from an Austrian representative sample (N = 777, aged 16–94 years) in which incentivized social value orientations (SVO) were measured along with various other sociodemographic characteristics. The analyses confirm that men are less prosocial than women, however, mainly during emerging adulthood (16–25 years). At the same time, the decline of prosociality is stronger among women leading to a convergence of prosociality between men and women as they age. Overall, we find that a prosocial value orientation is negatively correlated with people’s age. We suspect that the susceptibility of peoples’ social preferences to the preferences of others in their social environment is a critical factor unifying these different observations in the development of prosociality. We hypothesize that the opposite associations between age and SVO observed in two previous studies using unincentivized measures of social preferences are explained in parts by an age-related change in social desirability, measurement inaccuracy (continuous vs. categorical), and cross-cultural differences promoting competitive preferences among emerging adults in Japan. Moreover, we find that political orientations towards right-wing populists are consistently associated with less prosocial preferences, while education seems to be positively associated with prosociality. Overall, our study highlights the importance of conducting representative studies using incentivized measurements across cultures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Research on Social Dilemmas)
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Article
Self-Governance in Generalized Exchange. A Laboratory Experiment on the Structural Embeddedness of Peer Punishment
Games 2021, 12(2), 50; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/g12020050 - 10 Jun 2021
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Abstract
Peer punishment is widely lauded as a decentralized solution to the problem of social cooperation. However, experimental evidence of its effectiveness primarily stems from public good structures. This paper explores peer punishment in another structural setting: a system of generalized exchange. In a [...] Read more.
Peer punishment is widely lauded as a decentralized solution to the problem of social cooperation. However, experimental evidence of its effectiveness primarily stems from public good structures. This paper explores peer punishment in another structural setting: a system of generalized exchange. In a laboratory experiment, a repeated four-player prisoner’s dilemma is arranged either in a public good structure or in a circular network of generalized exchange. The experimental results demonstrate that the merits of peer punishment do not extend to generalized exchange. In the public good, peer punishment was primarily altruistic, was sensitive to costs, and promoted cooperation. In generalized exchange, peer punishment was also altruistic and relatively frequent, but did not increase cooperation. While the dense punishment network underlying the public good facilitates norm enforcement, generalized exchange decreases control over norm violators and reduces the capacity of peer punishment. I conclude that generalized exchange systems require stronger forms of punishment to sustain social cooperation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Research on Social Dilemmas)
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Article
Deterrence by Collective Punishment May Work against Criminals but Never against Freedom Fighters
Games 2021, 12(2), 41; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/g12020041 - 06 May 2021
Viewed by 691
Abstract
The main goal of collective punishment (CP) is the deterrence of future “wrong-doing” by freedom fighters or terrorists, protesters against an authoritative government, polluters, students playing pranks on their teacher, football teams lacking enthusiasm, or soldiers showing cowardice to the enemy. CP could [...] Read more.
The main goal of collective punishment (CP) is the deterrence of future “wrong-doing” by freedom fighters or terrorists, protesters against an authoritative government, polluters, students playing pranks on their teacher, football teams lacking enthusiasm, or soldiers showing cowardice to the enemy. CP could consist of the lockout of workers, additional training units for football teams, increased control of athletes and firms, up to the shooting of fellow villagers of assassins. I investigate two classes of problems. In one class, resistance against an authority is individually costly, but enough resistance can be successful (the production of a public good, for example, higher wages after a strike). In the other case, “resistance” is individually profitable (a criminal activity as pollution) and enough “resistance” produces a public bad. We find that, in the first situation, the announcement of CP never decreases the level of resistance. In the second situation, CP can be successful. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Research on Social Dilemmas)
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