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Abstract

The influence of an individual's own social value orientation on the orientation expected from others and on the learning of others' social orientations was examined. The subjects (N = 148) were classified according to theirown social value orientation. The orientations they generally expected from others were assessed as well. Each subject learned the choices of five other persons, representing the orientations altruism, cooperation, equality, individualism, and competition. With respect to subjects' expectations of others' orientations the triangle hypothesis was not fully supported: only individualists expected their orientation in high frequencies. The false consensus hypothesis received more support. Generally an orientation was expected more frequently by subjects who themselves had that particular orientation than by subjects with other orientations. With regard to the learning of others' orientations support was found for the predictions derived from the triangle and the false consensus hypothesis. Cooperators and individualists were the best overall learners, followed by egalitarian and maximum subjects, and at the lowest level competitors. In addition, nearly every orientation was learned better by subjects who had that orientation than by subjects with a different orientation.