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Assessing the Differential Effects of Pre-existing Verbal Relations, Pay for Performance, and Rules on Cooperative Responding
AuthorRafacz, Sharlet D.
AdvisorHoumanfar, Ramona A.
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Prior research on cooperation in a business environment has primarily relied upon financial consequences to increase or decrease cooperative responding. When results indicate otherwise, a post-hoc attribution to social or verbal contingencies is usually made. The purpose of this study was to assess the participatory effect of pre-existing verbal relations and rules on cooperative behavior under different pay for performance conditions. The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) and Mixed-Trial IRAP (MT-IRAP) were utilized to account for the existing derived relations among verbal stimuli (D. Barnes-Holmes et al., 2006; Levin, 2010). More specifically, Experiment 1 utilized the MT-IRAP to select potential motivational stimuli for Experiment 2. In the second experiment, the IRAP was utilized to assess participants' pre-existing social biases. One week following the IRAP, the same participants were exposed to rule statements under either piece rate or profit-share conditions in a reversal design. Results indicated minimal impact of pre-existing social biases on cooperative behavior, however the rule statements had a significant effect on responding, particularly under financially neutral conditions (profit share). The potential role of rules as verbal establishing stimuli (i.e., motivative augmentals) and their application in organizations are discussed.