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When Does One Good Deed Deserve Another?: The Calculus Of Reciprocity

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Executive Summary

Rationality suggests that trust should build slowly and that people should proceed cautiously when building a relationship. But what if you only have one chance to decide whether to trust someone? In that case, caution might be a poor choice: it can be perceived as distrust and thus reduce the possibility of engendering trust. In the Trust Game, a player (Player 2) decides whether and how much to reciprocate when given money by an anonymous person (Player 1), with both players knowing that however much Player 1 sends, Player 2 gets triple that amount.

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