Cooperative behavior is an important topic as it is the very basis of human society. The key to success for societal institutions, however, lies not only in the establishment of cooperative relationships, but above all in sustaining them. The present project investigates a key mechanism that might facilitate the sustainability of cooperation: identity signaling. Identity signaling includes the display of identity cues like ones gender or skin color, but also symbols and behaviors that are chosen for their signaling power. These signals can change the perception and behavior of receivers in a way benefitting or impeding the signaler. Research using social dilemma games has shown that identity signaling can be an effective means to establish cooperation with in-group and out-group members. However, the interaction between imposed and chosen identity related signals, and its role in keeping cooperation sustainable constitutes a new perspective and the main focus of the present project.
University of Groningen, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, Department of Sociology
September 1, 2013 - August 31, 2017
University of Groningen