Cooperation between people: Facial and interactional signals as coordination devices
T. Kessler and F.J. Neyer
Human groups are characterized by both cooperative and competitive behaviours. Cooperation always bears the risk of individual defection or cheating, but people seem to be sensitive for cheating, may have better memories for cheaters, and deal with cheaters in certain ways. While previous studies on memory for cheaters focused on interpersonal contexts, we propose to extend the research on detection and memory for cheaters to an intergroup context. We also expect substantial individual differences in cheater detection that particularly emerge in ingroup contexts. A first series of studies will attempt to replicate and extend existing studies on memory for cheaters in ingroup and outgroup. We expect that participants exhibit enhanced memory for ingroup but not for outgroup cheaters, since outgroup members tend to be processed in a more categorical and depersonalized way. In a second line of research, we will disentangle effects of group membership of cheater and victim of cheating. In a final line of research, we will examine the influence of coordination, synchronous or mutual behaviour on the detection of cheating and its influence on group formation. These three lines of research will refine our understanding of detecting, memorizing, and dealing with cheaters, with a particular focus on the maintenance of cooperation within one’s group.