Divided Loyalists or Conditional Cooperators? Creating Consensus About Cooperation in Multiple Simultaneous Social Dilemmas

Group and Organization Management, 2014

38 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2014 Last revised: 19 Nov 2017

See all articles by Matthew W. McCarter

Matthew W. McCarter

University of Texas at San Antonio; Chapman University - Economic Science Institute

Anya Samek

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR); University of Southern California - Department of Economics

Roman M. Sheremeta

Case Western Reserve University

Date Written: August 25, 2014

Abstract

The current social dilemma literature lacks theoretical consensus regarding how individuals behave when facing multiple simultaneous social dilemmas. The divided-loyalty hypothesis, from organizational theory, predicts that cooperation will decline as individuals experience multiple social dilemmas with different compared to the same group members. The conditional-cooperation hypothesis, from behavioral economics, predicts that cooperation will increase as individuals experience multiple social dilemmas with different compared to the same group members. We employ a laboratory experiment to create consensus between these literatures and find support for the conditional-cooperation hypothesis. The positive effect of interacting with different group members comes from participants having an opportunity to shift their cooperative behavior from the less cooperative to the more cooperative group.

Keywords: cooperation, conditional cooperation, defection, loyalty, experiments, public goods, social dilemmas

JEL Classification: C91, C92

Suggested Citation

McCarter, Matthew W. and Samek, Anya and Sheremeta, Roman M., Divided Loyalists or Conditional Cooperators? Creating Consensus About Cooperation in Multiple Simultaneous Social Dilemmas (August 25, 2014). Group and Organization Management, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2486693 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2486693

Matthew W. McCarter (Contact Author)

University of Texas at San Antonio ( email )

One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249
United States

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States

Anya Samek

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

University of Southern California - Department of Economics ( email )

3620 South Vermont Ave. Kaprielian (KAP) Hall, 300
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Roman M. Sheremeta

Case Western Reserve University ( email )

10900 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
29
Abstract Views
458
PlumX Metrics