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Title:The group-based binding pledge as a solution to public goods problems
Author(s):Chen, Xiao-ping
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Davis, James H.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Social
Sociology, Public and Social Welfare
Abstract:A social dilemma is a situation in which members of a group are faced with a conflict between two choices: maximizing personal interests (defection) or maximizing collective interests (cooperation). It is generally more profitable to defect, but if all do so, all are worse off than if all choose to cooperate. A public goods dilemma is a special case of a social dilemma in which people must contribute resources to provide a public good. Communication, especially face-to-face discussion, has been shown to be effective in facilitating cooperation in such situations, including asking members to make a pledge to contribute (cooperate). The purpose of this study was to evaluate some explanations for the effectiveness of a pledge in enhancing cooperation. 256 undergraduate students (in groups of four subjects) were asked to make choices in a public goods dilemma. The results suggest that a pledge is effective in enhancing cooperation because it induces group identity and the perception of criticality. It is suggested that when face-to-face discussion is not feasible, a pledge system may be effective in solving real life social dilemmas.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Chen, Xiao-ping
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9543552
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9543552

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