Year of Graduation
The Influence of Religiosity on Cooperative Behavior Under Prisoner's Dilemma Conditions: the Case of Orthodox People in Russia
Applied Social Psychology
This thesis presents an experimental study investigating the relationship between individual’s religiosity and cooperative behavior. We investigated the effect of religiosity on cooperation among Orthodox people in Russia by using iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma game. In these experiments subjects were paired with previously unfamiliar individuals (N=100) to analyze the degree to which religiosity promotes cooperative behavior in these settings. First, the level of religiosity was measured by using Religion Orientation Scale (Allport and Ross, 1967) for each participant. Based on these measurements, all participants were grouped into two subgroups of religious and non-religious people. Then, individuals were randomly paired and participated in iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma Game. We evaluated the difference (a) in overall percentage of cooperative decisions, (b) difference in value structure measured by using the full Russian version of Portrait Values Questionnaire-Revised (PVQ-R), (c) difference in responses on previous non-cooperative decision of the partner and (d) difference in self-reported motivation to cooperate between religious and non-religious individuals. First, we found that participants from religious subgroup were generally more cooperative than non-religious individuals. Second, although we have found no overall difference in values structure between groups, we did find a difference in responses on non-cooperative partner’s decisions – religious participants responded in cooperative manner on previous non-cooperative decision of the partner more often. Finally, religious individuals are tending to explain their cooperative decisions in more prosocial way if compared to non-religious subjects.