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Choice Behavior in Social Dilemmas: Effects of Social Identity, Group Size, and Decision Framing

Choice Behavior in Social Dilemmas: Effects of Social Identity, Group Size, and Decision Framing Social dilemmas appear in two basic forms: the public goodsproblem (in which the individual must decide whether to contribute to a common resource) and the commons dilemma(in which the individual must decide whether to take from a common resource). The two forms of choice dilemma are equivalent in terms of outcomes, but because they involve different decision frames, they are not psychologically equivalent. In this research, framing effects on decisions involving use of a common resource pool were explored in a 2 × 2 × 2 (Public Goods vs. Commons Dilemma Task Structure × Small vs. Large Group Size × Individualistic vs. Collective Social Identity) experiment. That the two versions of the decision task were not psychologically equivalent was evidenced both by a main effect of task structure and by interactions involving task structure, group size, and social identity. Overall, subjects kept more of the common resource for themselves under the public goods version of the task than under the commons dilemma frame. Furthermore, under the commons dilemma structure, group size had no effect on choice behavior, but in the public goods version individuals in large groups kept more than did individuals in small groups. Lastly, as the resource pool was depleted, the social identity manipulation had opposite effects for large groups under commons dilemma and public goods frames. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Personality and Social Psychology American Psychological Association

Choice Behavior in Social Dilemmas: Effects of Social Identity, Group Size, and Decision Framing

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References (21)

Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1986 American Psychological Association
ISSN
0022-3514
eISSN
1939-1315
DOI
10.1037/0022-3514.50.3.543
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Social dilemmas appear in two basic forms: the public goodsproblem (in which the individual must decide whether to contribute to a common resource) and the commons dilemma(in which the individual must decide whether to take from a common resource). The two forms of choice dilemma are equivalent in terms of outcomes, but because they involve different decision frames, they are not psychologically equivalent. In this research, framing effects on decisions involving use of a common resource pool were explored in a 2 × 2 × 2 (Public Goods vs. Commons Dilemma Task Structure × Small vs. Large Group Size × Individualistic vs. Collective Social Identity) experiment. That the two versions of the decision task were not psychologically equivalent was evidenced both by a main effect of task structure and by interactions involving task structure, group size, and social identity. Overall, subjects kept more of the common resource for themselves under the public goods version of the task than under the commons dilemma frame. Furthermore, under the commons dilemma structure, group size had no effect on choice behavior, but in the public goods version individuals in large groups kept more than did individuals in small groups. Lastly, as the resource pool was depleted, the social identity manipulation had opposite effects for large groups under commons dilemma and public goods frames.

Journal

Journal of Personality and Social PsychologyAmerican Psychological Association

Published: Mar 1, 1986

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