The Manipulation: Socio-economic decision making

Gregory Gurevich, Doron Kliger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We analyze one-shot Prisoner's Dilemma decisions made by participants of the high-stakes TV game show The Manipulation, and document the influence of social life factors on economic decisions, alongside the participants' rational considerations. In particular, we employ a social psychology approach to provide a new perspective on the determinants of financial assistance. Our insights from the TV game are corroborated by a controlled laboratory experiment. We find that helping and sharing behavior in strategic situations is explained by Attribution Theory (AT) and beliefs about expected cooperativeness. Specifically, participants' decisions are influenced by perceived controllability of opponents' conditions (an attributional characteristic influencing perception of responsibility and related emotions) and social-relations-based beliefs regarding the opponents' expected cooperativeness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-184
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Attribution
  • Cooperation
  • Emotions
  • Field experiment
  • Prisoners dilemma game

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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