Semantic Differential Judgments of Cooperators, Competitors and Individualists at Zero-Acquaintance

  • Gregory P. Shelley Department of Psychology, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
  • Madeleine Page Department of Psychology, University of Delaware
  • David M. Kuhlman Department of Psychology, University of Delaware
Keywords: cooperator detection, social value orientation, social and personal desirability


Students rated videotapes of Cooperative (J), Individualistic (O) and Competitive (R) targets describing their previous day. Some ratings represented the Evaluation dimension of social meaning, and others represented Dynamism. As predicted Js were rated more positively than Non-Js on all scales. This suggests a general positivity in cooperators’ nonverbal behavior. However, the discussion cites recent research showing that in some contexts cooperator detection may be based on negative nonverbal displays.