In addition to their notorious beauty, there could be another reason to mail-order a Russian bride. In a study that compared donations to a public goods game by Russian and Italian men and women, Russian females were constantly and, more interesting, increasingly cooperative.
The experiment involved 12 Russians and 12 Italians, made up equally of both genders, who played a public goods game on a computer. Each player started every new round with 10 ‘currency units’ — which the experimenters would then translate into extra credit in their course. Players have choice of donating none, a portion, or all of their money to a public pool where it is multiplied by a factor of 1/3 and then redistributed evenly among all players. This kind of game exhibits the real world tension between group and self-interest. Here are the results:
The sample size might be small, but the results do seem to suggest Russian women were uniquely cooperative. Now, if only we could get Russian women more involved in conservation…
Source: Belianin, A. and M. Novarese. 2005. Trust, communication and equlibrium behaviour in public goods.