Reward-Mediated Individual and Altruistic Behavior

by   Samuel Gomes, et al.

Recent research has taken particular interest in observing the dynamics between altruistic and individual behavior. This is a commonly approached problem when reasoning about social dilemmas, which have a plethora of real world counterparts in the fields of education, health and economics. Weighing how incentives influence in-game behavior, our study examines individual and altruistic interactions, by analyzing the players' strategies and interaction motives when facing different reward attribution strategies. Consequently, a model for interaction motives is also proposed, with the premise that the motives for interactions can be defined as a continuous space, ranging from self-oriented (associated to self-improvement behaviors) to others-oriented (associated to extreme altruism behaviors) motives. To evaluate the promotion of individual and altruistic behavior, we leverage Message Across, an in-loco two-player videogame with adaptable reward attribution systems. We conducted several user tests (N = 66) to verify to what extent individual and altruistic reward attribution systems led players to vary their strategies and motives orientation. Our results indicate that players' strategies and self-reported orientation of interaction motives varied highly significantly upon the deployment of individual and altruistic reward systems, which leads us to believe on the suitability of applying an incentive-based strategy to moderate the emergence of individual and altruistic behavior in games.


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