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Ashley Lauren Harrell King

Assistant Professor of Sociology

Selected Publications

Cooperation in Networked Collective-Action Groups: Information Access and Norm Enforcement in Groups of Different Sizes

Journal Article Social Psychology Quarterly · December 1, 2023 Norms, typically enforced via sanctions, are key to resolving collective-action problems. But it is often impossible to know what each individual member is contributing to group efforts and enforce cooperation accordingly. Especially as group size increase ... Full text Cite

Information-sharing and cooperation in networked collective action groups

Journal Article PNAS Nexus · December 1, 2023 When people provide for large-scale public goods, they often do not know what each individual group member is contributing. Instead, they commonly have access to the behaviors of their ties, in a broader network of others whose decisions are unknown. But n ... Full text Cite

Shared Identities and the Structure of Exchange Distinctly Shape Cooperation

Journal Article Social Forces · July 14, 2023 AbstractPeople frequently engage in preferential treatment toward those with whom they share category memberships. At the same time, sociologists have long understood that the structure of ongoing relations ... Full text Cite

Resource asymmetry reduces generosity and paying forward generosity, among the resource-advantaged and disadvantaged.

Journal Article Social science research · January 2023 Decisions to benefit others often entail generalized reciprocity: helping someone who cannot directly return benefits in the future; instead, the beneficiary may "pay it forward" to someone else. While much past work demonstrates that people pay forward ge ... Full text Cite

How can I help you? Multiple resource availability promotes generosity with low-value (but not high-value) resources

Journal Article Rationality and Society · August 1, 2021 People commonly possess multiple, differentially-valued resources they can use to benefit those in need: contributing money, volunteering time, donating unwanted possessions, posting on social media to raise awareness, and more. But the majority of experim ... Full text Cite

Better together: Third party helping is enhanced when the decision to help is made jointly.

Journal Article Social science research · February 2021 When spouses decide together how much of their joint income to donate to charity, or the parents of several children in a classroom agree to chip in for the cost of a group gift for a teacher, they are engaging in a joint act of benefiting a third party. P ... Full text Cite

Homophily and segregation in cooperative networks

Journal Article American Journal of Sociology · January 1, 2020 Social networks affect individuals’ ability to solve conflicts between individual and collective interests. Indeed, the ability to seek out cooperative others is a key explanation for the high levels of cooperation observed in social life. In contrast to e ... Full text Cite

Group leaders establish cooperative norms that persist in subsequent interactions.

Journal Article PloS one · January 2019 The temptation to free-ride on others' contributions to public goods makes enhancing cooperation a critical challenge. Solutions to the cooperation problem have centered on installing a sanctioning institution where all can punish all, i.e., peer punishmen ... Full text Cite

The strength of dynamic ties: The ability to alter some ties promotes cooperation in those that cannot be altered.

Journal Article Science advances · December 2018 Dynamic networks, where ties can be shed and new ties can be formed, promote the evolution of cooperation. Yet, past research has only compared networks where all ties can be severed to those where none can, confounding the benefits of fully dynamic networ ... Full text Cite

The Roots of Reciprocity: Gratitude and Reputation in Generalized Exchange Systems

Journal Article American Sociological Review · February 2018 Social scientists often study the flow of material and social support as generalized exchange systems. These systems are associated with an array of benefits to groups and communities, but their existence is problematic, because individuals may be ... Full text Cite

Cooperation, clustering, and assortative mixing in dynamic networks

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences · January 30, 2018 SignificanceUnderstanding the patterns and processes of human cooperation is of central scientific importance. Networks can promote cooperation when their existing or emergent topology allows conditional cooperat ... Full text Cite

Prosocial Orientation Alters Network Dynamics and Fosters Cooperation

Journal Article Scientific Reports · March 23, 2017 AbstractDynamic networks have been shown to increase cooperation, but prior findings are compatible with two different mechanisms for the evolution of cooperation. It may be that dynamic networks promote cooperation even in ... Full text Cite

The Enforcement of Moral Boundaries Promotes Cooperation and Prosocial Behavior in Groups

Journal Article Scientific Reports · February 17, 2017 AbstractThe threat of free-riding makes the marshalling of cooperation from group members a fundamental challenge of social life. Where classical social science theory saw the enforcement of moral boundaries as a critical w ... Full text Cite

Do religious cognitions promote prosociality?

Journal Article Rationality and Society · November 2012 Researchers have long argued that religion increases prosocial behavior, but results are equivocal. Recent findings on priming religious concepts seem to show that religion drives other-regarding behaviors. However, here I suggest that some religio ... Full text Cite