ERIC Number: ED119097
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-May
Reference Count: 0
Development of Cooperation between Children in the Minimal Social Situation.
Siegel, Jan; Powers, Richard B.
This paper investigated whether children can learn to cooperate under minimal social conditions. The research also compares the effectiveness of verbal instructions and a training task for teaching subjects the "win-stay/lose-change" rule. This rule has been used to explain the development of cooperation in the minimal social situation. Subjects were 19 teams of first-, second-, and third-graders. Five teams were composed of two girls; six were girl-boy teams; and eight were boy-boy teams. Ten of the 19 teams learned to cooperate in the minimal social situation without treatment. Two of four teams given the rule training procedure learned to cooperate after having failed to learn under typical social conditions. Of five teams given verbal instructions, four learned to cooperate immediately. The probability of following the rule "win-stay/lose-change" was approximately 50% initially and did not increase significantly in later sessions. Therefore, it is clear that closely following the "win-stay/lose-change" rule is not a prerequisite for the development of a stable cooperative exchange. Explanations in the literature which suggest subjects learn a single rule, i.e., "win-stay/lose-change," are probably misleading since children evidence a variety of rules, any of which might have been reinforced or punished over the course of the experiment. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (Salt Lake City, Utah, May 7-10, 1975); Charts in appendix may not reproduce clearly due to quality of original. Not available in hard copy