Original article:

Attractiveness and cooperation in social exchange

Evolutionary Psychology 4: 315-329 Chisato Takahashi, Graduate School of Letters, Hokkaido University, N10 W7 Kita-ku, Sapporo, Japan 060- 0810, chisato@lynx.let.hokudai.ac.jpToshio Yamagishi, Graduate School of Letters, Hokkaido University, N10 W7 Kita-ku, Sapporo, Japan 060- 0810, Toshio@let.hokudai.ac.jpShigehito Tanida, Graduate School of Letters, Hokkaido University, N10 W7 Kita-ku, Sapporo, Japan 060- 0810, stanida@lynx.let.hokudai.ac.jpToko Kiyonari, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4K1, Tokoki@aol.comSatoshi Kanazawa, Interdisciplinary Institute of Management, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, UK, S.Kanazawa@lse.ac.uk

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that physically more attractive men are less likely to cooperate in social exchange than less attractive men, while physical attractiveness has no effect on women’s tendency toward cooperation, with four different experimental games (Prisoner's Dilemma with 99 players, Allocator Choice with 77 players, Faith with 16 players, and Trust with 21 players). Pictures of the game players were taken after they participated in one of the four games, and those pictures were presented to another set of participants (85 raters in Study 1 and 2, 36 raters in Study 3) for attractiveness ratings. Both male and female raters who were unaware of the photographed game players’ actual behavior in the game judged the faces of male defectors (who defected in one of the four games) to be more attractive than those of male cooperators, but they did not give differential attractiveness ratings to female defectors and female cooperators.

Keywords

social exchange, facial attractiveness, prisoner’s dilemma, trust game, cooperation.

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Evolutionary Psychology - An open access peer-reviewed journal - ISSN 1474-7049 © Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young; individual articles © the author(s)
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