The role of identifiability in the reduction of interindividual-intergroup discontinuity
Interindividual-intergroup discontinuity is the tendency, in mixed-motive situations, for groups to interact more competitively, or less cooperatively, than individuals. In order to assess whether the discontinuity effect is partially driven by the individual anonymity inherent in group decisions, a laboratory experiment was conducted in which group members? votes for the choices on a PDG-Alt matrix were, or were not, to be known by the members of the other group. The results indicated that group members who anticipated that their votes would be identified by the other group made fewer competitive choices and more cooperative choices. A number of different possible theoretical interpretations of these results were discussed. Separate results from a variety of assessments provided evidence for the fear and greed interpretation of discontinuity. It was found, for example, that discussions between groups contained more distrust and greed statements than did discussions between individuals.
Schopler, J., Insko, CA., Drigotas, SM., Wieselquist, J., Pemberton, M., & Cox, C. (1995). The role of identifiability in the reduction of interindividual-intergroup discontinuity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 31(6), 553-574. DOI: 10.1006/jesp.1995.1025