Based on results from the Red-Blue experiment of Berg claims that we are instinctively competitive when it comes to decision making. Molina et. al. argue, using different cultural examples, that we are always, instinctively, both cooperative and competitive. The Red-Blue experiment offers more insight into the process of enculturation in the business community than it does about generalized competitive human instinct. When we consider the process of enculturation, any dissonance between the results of Molina et al and Berg can be resolved.
Enculturation can affect a person’s instinct within a given context that does not necessarily reflect a cultural norm. Enculturation, is the process of assimilation into a culture, by internalizing culturally acceptable values and acting according to culturally acceptable practices. I would argue that business school and the business community make up a subculture that operates according to its own values and practices. Therefore, the values within this subculture may not reflect a broader cultural norm. This is important because, like @katechecknita4023, I thought that the evidence Berg provided to support her argument was weak. One of the reasons I thought so, was the lack of detail used to describe the demographic participating in the Red-Blue experiment. Based on some hints she gives us, and the context/purpose of her paper I believe the participants in her experiments were mostly members of business culture, students or executives. Therefore, I believe her claim that we are instinctually competitive when it comes to decision making, does not necessarily reflect a broad cultural norm, rather it reflects the values of business culture.
If Berg’s argument were more nuanced and less generalized, then Molina et. al’s argument would not appear as a counter argument. Because, Berg is arguing that cooperation and competition are necessary in business, and Molina et.al. argue that cooperation and competition are both parts of human instinct, the results of the Red-Blue experiment reveal interesting insight into the process of enculturation into the business world. Berg’s findings that competition is overly present in decision making paired with Molinas argument that we are both instinctively cooperative and competitive suggests that during the enculturation process into business culture, competition is overemphasized. Based on my personal experience this is easy to see. University business classes are highly competitive. They are usually graded on a curve and when professors talk about their careers they often glorify their success when it comes at the expense of their competitors. Therefore the Red-Blue experiment reveals more about the values of business culture then it does about human nature. Based on this tentative conclusion I would like to see more research into the way that enculturation effects human instinct.