In this chapter, I lay out a classification of social situations—situations of interdependent decision making—based on the type of decision makers involved. Then, using this framework, I review the decision-making literature and point out the gaps that still exist in it. The classification of social situations, or games, builds on a distinction between three basic types of decision-making agents, or players: individuals, cooperative or unitary groups—groups whose members can reach a binding (and costless) agreement on a joint strategy—and non-cooperative groups— groups whose members act independently without being able to make a binding agreement. Pitting individuals (I), unitary groups (U), and non-cooperative groups (G) against one another, and adding nature as a potential “opponent,” generates the 3 (type of agent) × 4 (type of opponent) matrix depicted in Table 3.1.


Public Good Unitary Group Social Dilemma Ultimatum Game Coordination Game 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Amaldoss, W., Meyer, R., Raju, J., Rapoport, A. (2000). Collaborating to compete. Marketing Science, 19, 105–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Axelrod, R. (1984). The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  3. Baron, J. (1997). The illusion of morality as self-interest: A reason to cooperate in social dilemmas. Psychological Science, 8, 330–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baron, J. (2001). Confusion of group-interest and self-interest in parochial cooperation on behalf of the group. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 45, 283–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berg, J., Dickhaut, J., McCabe, K. (1995). Trust, reciprocity, and social history. Games and Economic Behavior, 10, 21–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blinder, A. S., Morgan, J. (2005). Are two heads better than one? An experimental analysis of group vs. individual decision making, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 37, 789–811.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bornstein, G. (1992). The free rider problem in intergroup conflicts over step-level and continuous public goods. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 597–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bornstein, G. (2003). Intergroup conflict: Individual, group, and collective interests. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 7, 129–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bornstein, G., Ben-Yossef, M. (1994). Cooperation in intergroup and single-group social dilemmas. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 30, 52–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bornstein, G., Erev, I. (1994). The enhancing effect of intergroup competition on group performance. International Journal of Conflict Management, 5, 271–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bornstein, G., Yaniv, I. (1998). Individual and group behavior in the ultimatum game: Are groups more “rational” players? Experimental Economics, 1, 101–108.Google Scholar
  12. Bornstein, G., Budescu, D., Zamir, S. (1997). Cooperation in intergroup, two-person, and n-person games of Chicken. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 41, 384–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bornstein, G., Budescu, D., Kugler, T., Selten, R. (in press). Repeated price competition between individuals and between teams. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.Google Scholar
  14. Bornstein, G., Gneezy, U., Nagel, R. (2002). The effect of intergroup competition on intragroup coordination: An experimental study. Games and Economic Behavior.Google Scholar
  15. Bornstein, G., Rapoport, A., Kerpel, L., Katz, T. (1989). Within and between group communication in intergroup competition for public goods. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 25, 422–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bornstein, G., Schram, A., Sonnemans, J. (2004). Do democracies breed chickens? Forthcoming in R. Suleiman, D. V. Budescu, I. Fischer & D. Messick (eds.), Contemporary Psychological Research on Social Dilemmas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Brams, S. (1975). Game Theory and Politics: International Relations Games. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  18. Brewer, M. B., Kramer, R. M. (1986). Choice behavior in social dilemmas: Effects of social identity, group size, and decision framing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 543–549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Budescu, D. V, Rapoport, A., Suleiman, R. (1990). Resource dilemmas with environmental uncertainty and asymmetric players. European Journal of Social Psychology, 20, 475–478.Google Scholar
  20. Camerer, C. (1995). Individual decision making. In A. Roth & J. Kagel (eds.), Handbook of Experimental Economics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Campbell, D. T. (1965). Ethnocentric and other altruistic motives. In D. Levine (ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
  22. Campbell, D. T. (1972). On the genetics of altruism and the counter-hedonic components in human culture. Journal of Social Issues, 28, 21–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Cason, T. N., Mui, V. (1997). A laboratory study of group polarization in the team dictator game. Economic Journal, 107, 1465–1483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Chamberlin, E. (1929). Duopoly: Values where sellers are few. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 43, 63–100.Google Scholar
  25. Coleman, J. (1990). Foundations of Social Theory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Colman, A. M. (1995). Game Theory and Its Applications. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.Google Scholar
  27. Conradt, L., Roper, T. J. (2003). Group decision-making in animals. Nature, 42, 155–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Cooper, D. J., Kagel, J. H. (2005). Are two heads better than one? Team versus individual play in signaling games. American Economic Review, 95, 477–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Cooper, R. (1999). Coordination Games: Complementarities and Macroeconomics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Coser, L. A. (1956). The Function of Social Conflict. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.Google Scholar
  31. Cox, J. C. (2002). Trust, reciprocity, and other-regarding preferences: Groups vs. individuals and males vs. females. In R. Zwick & A. Rapoport (eds.), Advances in Experimental Business Research. New York: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  32. Davis, J. H. (1992). Some compelling intuitions about group consensus decisions: Theoretical and empirical research, and interpersonal aggregation phenomena: Selected examples, 1950–1990, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 52, 3–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Dawes, R. M. (1980). Social dilemmas. Annual Review of Psychology, 31, 169–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Dawes, R. M., Messick, D. M. (2000). Social dilemmas. International Journal of Psychology, 35, 111–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Deutsch, M. (1973). The Resolution of Conflict. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Elbittar, A., Gomberg, A., Sour, L. (2004). Group decision-making in ultimatum bargaining: An experimental study. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  37. Erev, I., Bornstein, G., Galili, R. (1993). Constructive intergroup competition as a solution to the free rider problem: A field experiment. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 29, 463–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Gunnthorsdottir, A., Rapoport, A. (2006). Egalitarian vs. proportional profit-sharing rules in multi-level collective action problems. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 101, 184–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hardin, R. (1982). Collective Action. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Hardin, R. (1995). One for All: The Logic of Intergroup Conflict. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Hastie, R., Kameda, T. (2005). The robust beauty of majority rules in group decisions. Psychological Review, 112, 494–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Heinsohn, R. (1997). Group territoriality in two populations of African lions. Animal Behavior, 53, 1143–1147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hill, G. W. (1982). Group versus individual performance: Are n + 1 heads better than one? Psychological Bulletin, 91, 517–539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Insko, C. A., Schopler, J. (1987). Categorization, competition, and collectivity, in C. Hendrick, (ed.), Group Processes (Vol. 8, pp. 213–251). New York: Sage.Google Scholar
  45. Isaac, R. M., Walker, J. M. (1994). Group size and the voluntary provision of public goods: Experimental evidence utilizing large groups. Journal of Public Economics, 54, 1–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Jervis, R. (1978). Cooperation under the security dilemma. World Politics, 30, 167–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Kahneman, D., Knetsch, J., Thaler, R. (1986). Fairness as a constraint on profit seeking: Entitlements in the market. American Economic Review, 76, 728–741.Google Scholar
  48. Kahneman, D., Slovic, P., Tversky, A. (eds.) (1982). Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Kelley, H. H., Thibaut, J. W. (1978). Interpersonal Relations: A Theory of Interdependence. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  50. Kerr, L. N., MacCoun, R. J., Kramer, G. P. (1996). Bias in judgment: Comparing individuals and groups. Psychological Review, 103, 687–719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Kocher, M. G., Sutter, M. (2005). The decision maker matters: Individual versus group behavior in experimental beauty-contest games. The Economic Journal, 115, 200–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Kocher, M. G., Sutter, M. (in press). Individual versus group behavior and the role of the decision making procedure in gift-exchange experiments. Empirica.Google Scholar
  53. Kollock, P. (1998). Social dilemmas: The anatomy of cooperation. Annual Review of Sociology, 24, 183–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Komorita, S., Parks, C. (1995). Interpersonal relations: Mixed-motive interaction. Annual Review of Psychology, 46, 183–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Kramer, R. M., Brewer, M. B. (1984). Effects of group identity on resource use in simulated social dilemmas. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 1044–1057.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Kugler, T., Bornstein, G. (2005). Individual and groups as players in bilateral conflicts. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  57. Kugler, T., Bornstein, G., Kocher, M. G., Sutter, M. (in press). A trust game between individuals and groups: Groups are less trusting than individuals but just as trustworthy. Journal of Economic Psychology.Google Scholar
  58. Ledyard, J. O. (1995). Public goods: A survey of experimental research. In A. Roth & J. Kagel (eds.), Handbook of Experimental Economics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Levine, R., Campbell, D. (1972). Ethnocentrism: Theories of Conflict, Ethnic Attitudes and Group Behavior. New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  60. McKelvey, R., Palfrey, T. (1992). An experimental study of the centipede game. Econometrica, 60, 803–836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Messick, D. M., Allison, S. T., Samuelson, C. D. (1988). Framing and communication effects on group members’ responses to environmental and social uncertainty. In S. Maital (ed.), Applied Behavioral Economics (Vol. 2, pp. 677–700). New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  62. Nalbantian, H., Schotter, A. (1997). Productivity under group incentives: An experimental study. American Economic Review, 87, 314–341.Google Scholar
  63. Palfrey, T., Rosenthal, H. (1983). A strategic calculus of voting. Public Choice, 41, 7–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Pallais, A. (2005). The effect of group size on ultimatum bargaining. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  65. Probst, T., Carnevale, P., Triandis, H. (1999). Cultural values in intergroup and single-group social dilemmas. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 77, 171–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Putnam, R. D. (1988). Diplomacy and domestic politics: The logic of two-level games. International Organization, 42, 427–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Rabbie, J. M. (1982). The effects of intergroup competition on intragroup and intergroup relationships. In V. J. Derlega & J. Grzelak (eds.), Cooperation and Helping Behavior: Theories and Research. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  68. Rapoport, A., Amaldoss, W. (1999). Social dilemmas embedded in between-group competitions: Effects of contest and distribution rules. In M. Foddy, M. Smithson, S. Schneider, & M. Hogg (eds.), Resolving Social Dilemmas: Dynamic, Structural, and Intergroup Aspects. Philadelphia: Psychology Press, Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  69. Rapoport, A., Bornstein, G. (1987). Intergroup competition for the provision of binary public goods. Psychological Review, 94, 291–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Rapoport, A., Bornstein, G. (1989). Solving public goods problems in competition between equal and unequal size groups. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 33, 460–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Rapoport, A., Bornstein, G., Erev, I. (1989). Intergroup competition for public goods: Effects of unequal resources and relative group size. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 748–756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Robert, C., Carnevale, P. J. (1997). Group choice in ultimatum bargaining. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 72, 256–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Schopler, J., Insko, C. A. (1992). The discontinuity effect in interpersonal and intergroup relations: Generality and mediation. In W. Strobe & M. Hewstone (eds.), European Review of Social Psychology. Chichester, UK: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  74. Sherif, M. (1966). In Common Predicament: Social Psychology of Intergroup Conflict and Cooperation. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  75. Snidal, D. (1986). The game theory of international politics. In K. Oye (ed.), Cooperation Under Anarchy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  76. Stein, A. A. (1976). Conflict and cohesion: A review of the literature. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 20, 143–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Suleiman, R. (1997). Provision of step-level public goods under uncertainty: A theoretical analysis. Rationality and Society, 9, 163–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Sutter, M. (2005). Are four heads better than two? An experimental beauty-contest game with teams of different size. Economics Letters, 88, 41–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Tajfel, H. (1982). Social psychology of intergroup relations. Annual Review of Psychology, 33, 1–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Tajfel, H., Turner, J. C. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. In W. G. Austin & S. Worchel (eds.), The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  81. Takacs, K. (2001). Structural embeddedness and intergroup conflict. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 45, 743–769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Tirole, J. (1988). The Theory of Industrial Organization. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  83. Turner, J. C. (1975). Social comparison and social identity: Some prospects for intergroup behavior. European Journal of Social Psychology, 5, 5–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Turner, J. C., Brown, R. J., Tajfel, H. (1979). Social comparison and group interest in intergroup favoritism. European Journal of Social Psychology, 9, 187–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Van Huyck, J., Battalio, R., Beil, R. (1990). Tacit coordination games, strategic uncertainty, and coordination failure. American Economic Review, 80, 234–248.Google Scholar
  86. Velicer, G. (2003). Social strife in the microbial world. Trends in Microbiology, 11, 330–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Wildschut, T., Pinter, B., Vevea, J. L., Insko, C. A., Schopler, J. (2003). Beyond the group mind: A quantitative review of the interindividual–intergroup discontinuity effect. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 698–722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Wilson, M. L., Hauser, M. D., Wrangham, R. W. (2001). Does participation in intergroup conflict depend on numerical assessment, range location, or rank for wild chimpanzees? Animal Behavior, 61, 1203–1216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary Bornstein
    • 1
  1. 1.The Hebrew University of JerusalemIsrael

Personalised recommendations