Retrospection in social dilemmas: How thinking about the past affects future cooperation

Craig D. Parks, Lawrence J. Sanna, Donelle C. Posey
2003 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology  
This article reports 2 studies investigating the effects of retrospective thought on future cooperation in social dilemmas. Some general theories of cooperation presume, but have not tested, whether retrospection has impact: People may think about the choices they could have made instead, realize that cooperation would have produced larger outcomes, and change their strategy as a result. Across both studies, the authors show that rate of future cooperation is directly related to the number of
more » ... st-case scenarios and inversely related to the number of worst-case scenarios generated. The 2nd study also shows that the number and type of retrospective thoughts generated can be predicted from the person's social value orientation.
doi:10.1037/0022-3514.84.5.988 pmid:12757143 fatcat:dohlxqhaeba6bawovdd2mz5qzy