Uncertainty in social dilemmas

Leiden Repository

Uncertainty in social dilemmas

Type: Doctoral Thesis
Title: Uncertainty in social dilemmas
Author: Kwaadsteniet, Erik Willem de
Publisher: Department Social and Organizational Psychology, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Leiden University
Issue Date: 2007-10-09
Keywords: Accountability
Environmental uncertainty
Social dilemmas
Social values
Tacit coordination
Abstract: This dissertation focuses on social dilemmas, and more specifically, on environmental uncertainty in these dilemmas. Real-life social dilemma situations are often characterized by uncertainty. For example, fishermen mostly do not know the exact size of the fish population (i.e., resource size uncertainty). Several researchers have therefore asked themselves the question as to how such uncertainty influences people’s choice behavior. These researchers have repeatedly concluded that uncertainty is detrimental to the collective because it induces over-harvesting. The present dissertation aims to provide a more comprehensive view on uncertainty in social dilemmas. Whereas earlier research has primarily investigated how uncertainty influences harvesting decisions, this dissertation also focuses on how environmental uncertainty affects interpersonal processes. This dissertation introduces a perspective that argues that environmental uncertainty hampers the application of the equal division rule, which in turn influences how group members interact with one another. In six chapters, I elaborate on numerous implications of this notion. By focusing on three key aspects of interpersonal processes (i.e., tacit coordination, justification pressures and interpersonal emotions), and by testing my ideas in seven empirical studies, I demonstrate that the effects of uncertainty are much more differentiated than is portrayed in earlier research.
Description: Promotor: E. van Dijk, Co-promotoren: A.P. Wit, D. De Cremer
With summary in Dutch
Faculty: Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
Citation: Kwaadsteniet, E.W.de, 2007, Doctoral thesis, Leiden University
Series/Report no.: Dissertatiereeks / Kurt Lewin Instituut ; 2007-9
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/12369

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