ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2014, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (11): 1760-1771.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.01760

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Interpersonal Cooperation and Conflict Influenced Outcome Evaluation in Social Decision-making

BAI Liying1; YUAN Bo2; ZHANG Wei1; ZHANG Zhen3; Lan Jiao3; WANG Yiwen3   

    (1 Department of Applied Psychology, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350116, China)
    (2 Department of Psychology, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China)
    (3Academy of Psychology and Behavior, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300074, China)
  • Received:2013-04-19 Published:2014-11-25 Online:2014-11-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Wei, E-mail:; WANG Yiwen, E-mail:


Interpersonal cooperation and conflict are two primary types of interpersonal interaction, and take important role in human social development. Previous fMRI study employing the Chicken Game task has demonstrated that the anterior PCC were more active after risky/aggressive choices than safe/reconciliatory choices when the participants play the game against a human counterpart. However, it is still unclear how people evaluated the feedback when they played such a complex social game, where the mutual cooperation or mutual conflict might occur. In order to address this problem, we use the Chicken Game task and event-related potentials (ERPs) technique to explore how interpersonal cooperation and conflict affect the processing of outcome evaluation and the time course of evaluation to complex social interactive outcome feedback. Brain potentials were recorded while 22 healthy adult participants played the Chicken Game against a human counterpart. In Chicken Game task, two players choose reconciliation or aggression each other; each was rewarded with a sum of money that depends upon the interaction of both players’ choices. There are four possible outcomes: player A (subject) and player B reconcile (RR), player A reconciles and player B aggresses (RA), player A aggresses and player B reconciles (AR), or both player A and player B aggress (AA). The behavioral data and ERP amplitudes (FRN and P300) associated with the four feedbacks were analyzed. The behavioral data suggested that participants selected more aggression than reconciliation. The ERP results indicated that the amplitudes of FRN and P300 were not only influenced by feedback valence but also modulated by the interpersonal cooperation and conflict. The FRN and FRN effect (dFRN) were increased when the participants’ anticipant were higher violated. Specifically, the FRN were largest when participants chose the conciliation while the counterpart chose aggression. The differences P300 between gains and losses were increased when participants chose cooperation, relative when they chose aggression. These results indicated that interpersonal cooperation and conflict influenced the early and later stage of outcome evaluation under complex social game. In social gambling, cooperation increased the anticipation to the gambling outcome, and induced the larger FRN effect, and the double material and social significance of cooperation reciprocal outcome might induce the larger P300 amplitudes. The present study first provides preliminary evidences that interpersonal cooperation and conflict can modulate our outcome evaluation process.

Key words: interpersonal cooperation, interpersonal conflict, FRN, P300, Chicken Game