2499 Field Experiments on Cooperation

Sunday, February 21, 2010: 1:30 PM
Room 8 (San Diego Convention Center)
Ralf Sommerfeld , Max Planck Institute, Zürich, Switzerland
Empirical and theoretical evidence from various disciplines indicates that reputation, reputation building and trust are important for human cooperation, social behaviour and economic progress. Furthermore, it is common knowledge that gossip strongly influences reputation. A series of experiments has investigated the connection between gossip and reputation in detail and shows that gossip is an important factor to shape the outcome of decision making tasks. People are influenced by gossip even if they have access to hard facts. To counteract the therewith arising manipulation power, the abundance of gossip serves the individual. A final discussion will outline applications for the usage of gossip (or any other widespread information from a not always qualified source) in the context of maintaining the global commons.
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