The medium or the message? Communication relevance and richness in trust games

Synthese 176 (1):125 - 147 (2010)
Abstract
Subjects communicated prior to playing trust games; the richness of the communication media and the topics of conversation were manipulated. Communication richness failed to produce significant differences in first-mover investments. However, the topics of conversation made a significant difference: the amounts sent were considerably higher in the unrestricted communication conditions than in the restricted communication and no-communication conditions. Most importantly, we find that first-movers' expectations of second-movers' reciprocation are influenced by communication and strongly predict their levels of investment
Keywords Trust  Laboratory experiments  Communication  Social norms  Cooperation  Computer-mediated communication
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