The Psychological Record

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 25–37 | Cite as

Effects of Reciprocity Induction on Partial-Altruistic and Unequal-Asymmetric Labor Exchange Interactions

  • Lizbeth Pulido AvalosEmail author
  • Emilio Ribes Iñesta
  • Iván López Ortiz
  • Gloria A. Marinero Villa
  • Iván Hernández Miranda
Original Article


An experiment evaluated the effects of reciprocal behavior of a confederate on the behavior of a participant under concurrent individual and shared contingencies. The experimental situation consisted of solving a puzzle on two synchronized computer screens. Sixteen female and male university students were assigned to the same number of dyads, in which the other member was a confederate. They were divided into four groups of four dyads each. Groups 1 and 3 were exposed to an ascending percentage of reciprocal behavior by the confederate (0, 50, and 100%) whereas groups 2 and 4 were exposed to a descending percentage (100, 50, and 0%). All groups were exposed to two shared contingency situations: partial altruism, in which no points or tokens were provided, and unequal, and asymmetric labor exchange, in which different amounts of valuables were exchanged for earned points. Groups 1 and 2 were first exposed to the partial altruism situation whereas groups 3 and 4 were first exposed to the labor exchange situation. Results show that participants in all groups matched the reciprocal behavior of confederates, resulting in partial altruism during percentages larger than 0 in both conditions, with and without points and earnings. These results confirm previous findings suggesting that reciprocity is a function of the behavior of at least one of the members of the dyad. Results are also discussed in relation to the functional relevance for the occurrence of cultural and economic interactions.


Labor exchange Partial altruism Reciprocity Asymmetry Inequity 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Lizbeth Pulido, Emilio Ribes, Iván López, Gloria Marinero, and Iván Hernández declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

40732_2018_319_MOESM1_ESM.docx (17 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 16 kb)


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of VeracruzVeracruzMexico
  2. 2.Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones en Conocimiento y Aprendizaje HumanoVeracruzMexico

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