Files in this item



application/pdf9210933.pdf (5MB)Restricted to U of Illinois
(no description provided)PDF


Title:The effects of uncertainty and penalty on cooperative behavior in a resource dilemma
Author(s):Nam, Kidok
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Komorita, Samuel S.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Social
Abstract:A resource dilemma, a special case of a social dilemma, simulates a situation in which a group of individuals can "harvest" resources from a common resource pool. But if they overharvest from the common pool, the pool can become "extinct." Thus, each member's decision must consider the level of the pool in the future as well as the current level. The effects of uncertainty about resource pool size and information about members' harvest decisions were investigated. Groups of four subjects (undergraduate students) were asked to harvest points from a replenishable resource pool. Three factors were crossed in a factorial design: uncertainty (high vs low), penalty for overharvest (high vs low), and feedback information (individual vs aggregated group level). The primary dependent measures were mean group harvest, whether members elected a leader who would harvest for the group instead of harvesting for themselves, and mean absolute deviation among members' harvests. Results showed that subjects harvested less when uncertainty was high, a finding opposite to the results of previous studies. The differences were discussed in terms of prospect theory. Uncertainty by penalty interaction showed that members' harvests tended to increase with high uncertainty, and the reverse with low uncertainty. For leader election, as total group harvest increased, and as members perceived others were greedy, a leader was more likely to be preferred. Finally, the dispersion of group members' harvests decreased over trials, supporting the "equal division heuristic" hypothesis.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Nam, Kidok
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9210933
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9210933

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics