Bicchieri, Cristina, Lev-On, Azi, and Chavez, Alex. 2010. The medium or the message? Communication richness and relevance in trust games. Synthese, 176, 125-147.
Subjects communicated prior to playing trust games; the richness of the communication media and the topics of conversation were manipulated. Communication richness failed to produce significant differences in first-mover investments. However, the topics of conversation made a significant difference: the amounts sent were considerably higher in the unrestricted communication conditions than in the restricted communication and no-communication conditions. Most importantly, we find that first-movers’ expectations of second-movers’ reciprocation are influenced by communication and strongly predict their levels of investment.