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Serotonin and social norms: tryptophan depletion impairs social comparison and leads to resource depletion in a multiplayer harvesting game.

Bilderbeck AC, Brown GD, Read J, Woolrich M, Cowen PJ, Behrens TE, Rogers RD - Psychol Sci (2014)

Bottom Line: How do people sustain resources for the benefit of individuals and communities and avoid the tragedy of the commons, in which shared resources become exhausted?Healthy adults, alongside social partners, completed a multiplayer resource-dilemma game in which they repeatedly harvested from a partially replenishable monetary resource.Dietary tryptophan depletion, leading to reduced serotonin activity, was associated with aggressive harvesting strategies and disrupted use of the social norms given by distributions of other players' harvests.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Illustration of descriptive social norms: (a) overharvesting and (b) underharvesting social environments of the multiplayer resource-dilemma game. Each panel shows four harvests (dots) and a probability density function (PDF; beta distributions scaled to between 0 and 20) representing the corresponding social norms. Relative rank is the position of a harvest of 12 (green dot) in the cumulative PDFs of the two different social norms. The vertical lines highlight the lower ranking of a harvest of 12 in the (a) overharvesting environment than in the (b) underharvesting environment.
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fig3-0956797614527830: Illustration of descriptive social norms: (a) overharvesting and (b) underharvesting social environments of the multiplayer resource-dilemma game. Each panel shows four harvests (dots) and a probability density function (PDF; beta distributions scaled to between 0 and 20) representing the corresponding social norms. Relative rank is the position of a harvest of 12 (green dot) in the cumulative PDFs of the two different social norms. The vertical lines highlight the lower ranking of a harvest of 12 in the (a) overharvesting environment than in the (b) underharvesting environment.

Mentions: To explore the effects of social norms further, we constructed regression models of the structural (and social) features of the game that influenced how participants adjusted their harvests from one harvesting opportunity to the next (Table 2; see the Supplemental Material for further details). Regressors included terms to code (a) the value of participants’ own immediately preceding harvests; (b) the current value of the available resource; (c) the presence of one or two other players who were overharvesting, modeled as a binary indicator (with the presence of one or two other players who were underharvesting as the referent); (d) the rank of participants’ last harvest within the distribution of all four players’ last harvests (i.e., their position within the social norms; see Fig. 3); and (e) the T– treatment, modeled as a binary indicator with the T+ treatment as the referent. (Statistical significance was tested against a threshold of p < .05; bootstrapped models that provided 95% confidence intervals for the coefficients described below can be found in Table S2 in the Supplemental Material.)


Serotonin and social norms: tryptophan depletion impairs social comparison and leads to resource depletion in a multiplayer harvesting game.

Bilderbeck AC, Brown GD, Read J, Woolrich M, Cowen PJ, Behrens TE, Rogers RD - Psychol Sci (2014)

Illustration of descriptive social norms: (a) overharvesting and (b) underharvesting social environments of the multiplayer resource-dilemma game. Each panel shows four harvests (dots) and a probability density function (PDF; beta distributions scaled to between 0 and 20) representing the corresponding social norms. Relative rank is the position of a harvest of 12 (green dot) in the cumulative PDFs of the two different social norms. The vertical lines highlight the lower ranking of a harvest of 12 in the (a) overharvesting environment than in the (b) underharvesting environment.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2 - License 3
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4230382&req=5

fig3-0956797614527830: Illustration of descriptive social norms: (a) overharvesting and (b) underharvesting social environments of the multiplayer resource-dilemma game. Each panel shows four harvests (dots) and a probability density function (PDF; beta distributions scaled to between 0 and 20) representing the corresponding social norms. Relative rank is the position of a harvest of 12 (green dot) in the cumulative PDFs of the two different social norms. The vertical lines highlight the lower ranking of a harvest of 12 in the (a) overharvesting environment than in the (b) underharvesting environment.
Mentions: To explore the effects of social norms further, we constructed regression models of the structural (and social) features of the game that influenced how participants adjusted their harvests from one harvesting opportunity to the next (Table 2; see the Supplemental Material for further details). Regressors included terms to code (a) the value of participants’ own immediately preceding harvests; (b) the current value of the available resource; (c) the presence of one or two other players who were overharvesting, modeled as a binary indicator (with the presence of one or two other players who were underharvesting as the referent); (d) the rank of participants’ last harvest within the distribution of all four players’ last harvests (i.e., their position within the social norms; see Fig. 3); and (e) the T– treatment, modeled as a binary indicator with the T+ treatment as the referent. (Statistical significance was tested against a threshold of p < .05; bootstrapped models that provided 95% confidence intervals for the coefficients described below can be found in Table S2 in the Supplemental Material.)

Bottom Line: How do people sustain resources for the benefit of individuals and communities and avoid the tragedy of the commons, in which shared resources become exhausted?Healthy adults, alongside social partners, completed a multiplayer resource-dilemma game in which they repeatedly harvested from a partially replenishable monetary resource.Dietary tryptophan depletion, leading to reduced serotonin activity, was associated with aggressive harvesting strategies and disrupted use of the social norms given by distributions of other players' harvests.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus