Social Dilemmas: The Psychology of Human Cooperation

Social Dilemmas: The Psychology of Human Cooperation

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Overview

One of the key scientific challenges is the puzzle of human cooperation. Why do people cooperate? Why do people help strangers, even sometimes at a major cost to themselves? Why do people want to punish people who violate norms and undermine collective interests?

This book is inspired by the fact that social dilemmas, defined in terms of conflicts between (often short-term) self-interest and (often longer-term) collective interest, are omnipresent. The book centers on two major themes. The first theme is the theoretical understanding of human cooperation: are people indeed other-regarding? The second theme is more practical, and perhaps normative: how can cooperation be promoted? This question is at the heart of the functioning of relationships, organizations, as well as the society as a whole. In capturing the breadth and relevance of social dilemmas and psychology of human cooperation, this book is structured in three parts. The first part focuses on the definition of social dilemmas, along with the historical development of scientific theorizing of human cooperation and the development of social dilemma as a game in which to study cooperation. The second part presents three chapters, each of which adopts a relatively unique perspective on human cooperation: an evolutionary perspective, a psychological perspective, and a cultural perspective. The third part focuses on applications of social dilemmas in domains as broad and important as management and organizations, environmental issues, politics, national security, and health.

Social Dilemmas is strongly inspired by the notion that science is never finished. Each chapter therefore concludes with a discussion of two (or more) basic issues that are often inherently intriguing, and often need more research and theory. The concluding chapter outlines avenues for future directions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190276966
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 08/01/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 212
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Paul Van Lange is Professor of Social Psychology and Chair of the Department of Social and Organizational Psychology at the VU University at Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Most of his research on human cooperation and trust is grounded in interdependence theory, through which he seeks to understand the functions of forgiveness, generosity, empathy, fairness, retaliation, competition, as well as general beliefs of human nature in various situations. His publications have appeared in journals such as the Annual Review of Psychology, Psychological Bulletin, and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. With various colleagues around the globe, Van Lange has published several books, including the Atlas of Interpersonal Situations (Published by Cambridge, 2003), Bridging Social Psychology (Published by Erlbaum, 2006), and the Handbook of Theories of Social Psychology (Published by Sage, 2012). He served as Associate Editor for various journals, such as Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Psychological Science, is founding editor of an interdisciplinary series on Social Dilemmas (Published by Oxford), and has served as Director of the Kurt Lewin Institute and as President of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology.

Craig D. Parks is Professor of Psychology at Washington State University. His research focuses on cooperation and noncooperation, and reaction to non-normative actors, in mixed-motive situations. He also works as a consultant to energy companies in the Pacific Northwest on social psychological factors underlying resistance to energy conservation. He is the Editor of Group Dynamics and former Associate Editor of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, and has twice co-edited special issues of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, on social dilemmas (2012), and on group decision-making processes (1999). Among his publications, he has co-authored a chapter (1995) in the Annual Review of Psychology on mixed-motive interaction, as well as the book Social Dilemmas (Published by Westview Press, 1996). He is currently on the editorial boards of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Daniel Balliet is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Organizational Psychology at the VU University at Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Dr. Balliet's research applies experimental methods and meta-analytic techniques to study cooperation and conflict resolution. His research has examined theoretical perspectives on trust, incentives, social values, and forgiveness. Dr. Balliet has published his research in top journals in Psychology and Political Science, including Psychological Bulletin, Perspectives on Psychological Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Mark Van Vugt is Professor of Evolution, Work and Organizational Psychology at the Department of Social and Organizational Psychology at the VU University at Amsterdam, The Netherlands. His expertise is in evolutionary psychology, group dynamics, leadership, status, conflict and cooperation, and in applications of evolutionary psychology to societal issues such as business and management, environmental sustainability, water conservation, politics, war and peace. His publications have appeared in journals such as the American Psychologist, Proceedings of Royal Society-B, and Psychological Science. With various colleagues,Van Vugt has published several books, including a trade book entitled Naturally Selected: The Evolutionary Science of Leadership (Published by Harper Business, 2010), and a textbook entitled Applying Social Psychology: From Problems to Solutions (Published by Sage, 2008). He served as Associate Editor for Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and is a research fellow at University of Oxford.

Table of Contents

Preface

PART ONE: Introduction to Social Dilemmas

Chapter 1: Introduction and Definition

Chapter 2: History, Methods, and Paradigms

PART TWO: Perspectives to Social Dilemmas

Chapter 3: Evolutionary Perspectives

Chapter 4: Psychological Perspectives

Chapter 5: Cultural Perspectives

PART THREE: Applications and Future of Social Dilemmas

Chapter 6: Management and Organizations

Chapter 7: Environment, Politics, Security, and Health

Chapter 8: Prospects for the Future

References
Index

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