Egocentric interpretations of fairness in asymmetric, environmental social dilemmas: Explaining harvesting behavior and the role of communication
This research explores the effects of egocentric interpretations of fairness, expectations about other actors' harvesting decisions, and communication on the focal actor's harvesting decisions in asymmetric social dilemmas. We found support for the predictions that egocentrism exists in perceptions of fairness in asymmetric dilemmas, overharvesting is positively related to the amount of egocentrism, and egocentrism is stronger before discussion than after discussion. Furthermore, in a comparison between asymmetric and symmetric dilemmas, we found that egocentrism and overharvesting were greater in asymmetric dilemmas than in symmetric dilemmas. Finally, the results indicate that among certain actors, overharvesting in asymmetric dilemmas is positively related to the amount of harvesting expected from the other parties. This study contributes to the social dilemma literature by (1) introducing the idea of egocentric interpretations of fairness as an explanation for overharvesting behavior, (2) demonstrating that egocentrism is more pronounced in asymmetric versus symmetric dilemmas, (3) suggesting that the reduction of egocentric interpretations of fairness is another reason why communication enhances cooperative behavior, and (4) demonstrating that beliefs about what others will do is related to harvesting decisions in asymmetric as well as symmetric dilemmas. © 1996 Academic Press, Inc.
Wade-Benzoni, KA; Tenbrunsel, AE; Bazerman, MH
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