Authors:Ádám Putz, Adrián Fehér, Tas Ferencz, András Láng, Ferenc Kocsor, and Tamás Bereczkei
The phenomenon of within as well as between group cooperation has been a prominent topic in both the evolutionary and social psychology research. There is an extensive literature regarding the decisions of Dark Triad individuals in social dilemma situations, too. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of “we-feeling” on the tendency of between group cooperation among individuals differing in Dark Triad traits.
Participants were invited to play a new experimental game developed by the authors depicting two villages of different (Study 1, n = 236) or the same colour (Study 2, n = 147) threatened by a natural disaster (flood). In both rounds of the game participants had to decide how to allocate their sandbags among three possible locations (around their own house, at the border of their own village, or at the common dam). Participants' Dark Triad traits were assessed with the SD3 questionnaire.
Participants of the same colour (in-group) condition allocated significantly more sandbags to the common dam during the second round of the game relative to participants of the different colour (out-group) condition. Participants' allocations were significantly affected by their dark personality traits; high Dark Triad scores did not always correlate with selfish strategies, however.
Our study confirmed that providing minimal information – i.e. group colour – can influence the tendency of between group cooperation in a social dilemma game. The results are discussed in the light of the tribal instinct hypothesis and the minimal group paradigm.