Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




This study investigated the effects of mortality salience, group membership, partner's behavior, and adherence to the norms of positive and negative reciprocity. Three-hundredeighty- four participants completed the either a mortality salience or control (where mortality was not salient) induction, a group membership induction, a personal norms of reciprocity scale, one round of a single-shot trust game (a measure of positive reciprocity), and one round of a singleshot ultimatum game (a measure of negative reciprocity). During the trust game, an ostensible interaction partner received a small monetary endowment, and contributed either that entire endowment or less than half of it (keeping the rest for him/herself) to a general fund that was guaranteed to triple in value before being transferred to the participant. the participant's task was then to determine how much of the general fund to return to the interaction partner, keeping the rest for him/herself. in the ultimatum game, the ostensible interaction partner was given a $20 endowment by the experimenter, he/she either proposed an even $10/$10 split of that endowment with the participant, or a $12/$8 split (in his/her own favor). the participant's task was to decide whether to accept or reject the proposed split. for positive reciprocity, I found a main effect of adherence to the norm of positive reciprocity, and a main effect of partner's behavior that was qualified by a partner's behavior by mortality salience interaction, such that when participants were not primed with mortality salience, they returned more of the general fund when they were paired with a generous partner then when they were paired with a stingy partner. for negative reciprocity, I found, that their decisions about whether to accept or reject Player 1's offer were again affected by the partner's behavior, and the degree to which the participant adhered to the norm of negative reciprocity.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.