Events

Celso de Melo, Peter Carnevale, Jonathan Gratch: “Reverse Appraisal: Inferring from Emotion Displays who is the Cooperator and the Competitor in a Social Dilemma”

July 21, 2011 | Boston, MA

Speaker: Celso de Melo, Peter Carnevale, Jonathan Gratch
Host: The 33rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci) 2011

This paper explores whether and how facial displays of emotion can impact emergence of cooperation in a social dilemma. Three experiments are described where participants play the iterated prisoner’s dilemma with (computer) players that display emotion. Experiment 1 compares a cooperative player, whose displays reflect a goal of mutual cooperation, with a control player that shows no emotion. Experiment 2 compares a competitive player, whose displays reflect a goal of getting more points than the participant, and the control player. Experiment 3 compares the cooperative and competitive players. Results show that people: cooperate more with the cooperative than the control player (Experiment 1); do not cooperate differently with the competitive and control players (Experiment 2); and, cooperate more with the cooperative than the competitive player, when they play the latter first (Experiment 3). In line with a social functions view of emotion, we argue people infer, from emotion displays, the other player’s propensity to cooperate by reversing the emotion appraisal process. Post-game surveys show that people interpret the emotion displays according to appraisal variables (desirability, responsibility and controllability) in ways that are consistent with predictions from appraisal theories of emotion.