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Better together: 14-month-old infants expect agents to cooperate even when it’s costly

Citation

Curioni, Arianna (2022), Better together: 14-month-old infants expect agents to cooperate even when it’s costly, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gqnk98smt

Abstract

Humans engage in cooperative activities from early on and the breadth of human cooperation is unparalleled. Human preference for cooperation might reflect cognitive and motivational mechanisms that reinforce engagement in cooperative activities. We applied the naive utility calculus model to cooperation and investigated if 14-month-old infants expect agents to prefer cooperative over individual goal achievement. Two groups of infants saw videos of agents facing a choice between two actions that led to identical rewards but differed in the individual costs. First, we established that infants expect agents to make instrumentally rational choices (prefer less costly individual actions). We then demonstrated that when one of the action alternatives is cooperative, infants expected agents to choose cooperation over individual action, despite the cooperative action demanding more effort from each agent to achieve the same outcome. This supports the proposal that infants may ascribe additional rewards to cooperative actions that go beyond the observable utility of instrumental actions.

Usage Notes

This repository holds 3 data files relating to the following manuscript:

Vorobyova, L., Begus, K., Knoblich, G., Gergely, G., Curioni, A. (2022) Better together: 14-month-old infants expect agents to cooperate

 

These files are as follows:

        - Exp1_data.xclx: output of participants’ looking time, coded offline from the video recordings in Experiment 1.

        - Exp2_data.xclx: output of participants’ looking time, coded offline from the video recordings in Experiment 2.

        - Exp3_data.xclx: output of participants’ looking time, coded offline from the video recordings in Experiment 3.

The data reported in these files is described below.

 

Columns in the files:

        Name - unique personal identifier of each participant

        Trial - trial number for each looking time episode

        Condition - condition for a given looking time episode: easy vs costly in Exp1_data; joint vs individual in Exp2_data

        Start Looking Time - start of a looking time episode in ms, counting from the beginning of a given trial

        End Looking Time - end of a looking time episode in ms, counting from the beginning of a given trial

        Looking Time episode - looking time episode in ms, calculated based on the two previous variables. Multiple looking time episodes are possible in one trial, if the time a participant looked away was less than 2 seconds. The analysis was performed on the sum of looking time episodes for each trial.

                 Sex - sex of a participant