Glad Tidings and Grave Warnings: The Role of Advice on Cooperation in Public Goods Dilemmas with Value Uncertainty
46 Pages Posted: 22 May 2010 Last revised: 19 Nov 2017
Date Written: September 29, 2012
We investigate how third-party advice on the estimated value of a public good acts as a dual-uncertainty reducing mechanism to encourage cooperation in a trust-social dilemma. Experiment 1 finds that the valence of an advisor’s estimate affects cooperation behavior and that this advice effect is mediated by the level of trust that an individual has in fellow group members. Experiment 2 finds that, when estimates about the value of the public good are mixed, trust in experts declines, and, as a result, trust in other group members also declines. Experiment 3 finds that mixed valence estimates do not affect cooperation behavior when the majority of advisors are in consensus. In merging the social dilemma and advice giving literatures, we show one way to navigate the dual-uncertainty problem when producing public goods and how independent, third-party advice can influence interpersonal relations among group members.
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