How Does Emotion Relate To Cooperation In Social Dilemmas? A Review Of Literature

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Yi Zi Ning , Norashikin Binti Mahmud


In recent years, human society represents social dilemmas everywhere. This article reviews the relationship between emotions (anger, fear, trust, pride) and cooperation in social dilemmas. Given the context of social dilemmas, the economic game paradigm is applied for experimentation, allowing one to study the behavioural characteristics, particularly related to cooperation and emotions. The present review is confined to experimental studies that explicitly explored the relationship or effects of various emotions on cooperative or non-competitive behaviour in social dilemmas. The review findings revealed a negative correlation between anger and cooperation.  Nonetheless, there is a positive association between cooperation and fairness judgment, and established evidence shows a positive correlation with trust and pride as well. This paper also inferred that fear of exploitation has a negative relationship; nevertheless, the absence of fear has a positive association with cooperation in social dilemmas. Based on the available literature and review findings, this research has inferred effects, causation, and correlation between selected emotion and cooperation. However, there is yet a margin for future researchers to investigate both long-term and short-term effects of emotions and cooperation, using a combination of cross-sectional and longitudinal social surveys and experimentations.

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