Playing a Different Game: Perceived Interdependence as a Mechanism Underlying Framing Effects on Cooperation in Social Dilemmas
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Description: Context frames such as describing a Prisoner's Dilemma as a "community" or a "stock exchange" game cause significant variation in cooperative behaviour. Here, we draw on recent advances in research on situation construal to propose a mechanism underlying such framing effects. People readily think about situations in terms of their interdependence with others, and how people perceive their interdependence with others in different games predicts differences in cooperation across these games. We propose that perceived interdependence is the mechanism underlying framing effects on cooperation in experimental games. By eliciting both situation perceptions and beliefs about others' behaviour in a framed game, we aim to test this mechanism and compare it against existing mechanistic explanations based on frame-dependent beliefs. As such, this study will contribute to a better understanding of framing effects on social decision-making and has the potential to integrate framing effects with a wider literature on situation perception.