University Students’ Beliefs About Sharing Knowledge between Researchers from Rival Countries. Poster
Presented at the 14th European Congress of Psychology; Milan, Italy; 7-10 July 2015
2 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2015 Last revised: 30 Jan 2019
Date Written: July 16, 2015
University students’ beliefs about necessity of sharing knowledge vs. keeping secrecy by researchers has been studied. Four cases similar to the following one were presented to 137 Russian students aged 16-20. “A scientist conducting research in the field of nuclear technologies is attending an international conference. From a report of another participant he gathers that he had just completed work on a method that can greatly advance the research of the speaker, but they come from different rival states. The questions were asked: “In your opinion, how should the researcher act during the discussion of the report: unveil his own method; keep quiet about it; misinform the speaker to prolong the time that it would take him to understand the method; do something else?” There are two variables in the cases: (a) the area in which both scientists work (nuclear technologies vs. medicine); and (b) the level of competitive interactions (rivalry of countries vs. competition of firms). The most participants (84%) think it necessary to share knowledge on medicine between researchers from rival countries; 11% – to misinform a nuclear physicist from a rival country; and 7% believe (a paradox!) that nuclear physicists from competing firms may conceal information from one another, but nuclear physicists from rival countries must display openness for the sake of saving humankind. Similarly, in 1954 Igor Kurchatov, the leader of the Soviet atomic bomb project, decided to share knowledge on thermonuclear technologies.
Keywords: sharing knowledge, secrecy, competition
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