Welcome to socialdilemma.com
Welcome to our site on social dilemmas! Our aim is to inform the public about social dilemmas, and to provide an opportunity for social dilemma researchers to meet, discuss and develop new research. Please check out the news with information about the past conference, next conference, a new special issue on social dilemmas (Organizational Behavioral and Human Decision Processes) and new books.
Who are we?
This new site is currently maintained by Prof. Dr. Paul van Lange (VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Dr. Jeff Joireman (Washington State University Pullman, USA), Dave Hardisty (Columbia University, USA) and Prof. Dr. Eric van Dijk (Leiden University, The Netherlands), and supported by the Steering Committee of the International Conferences on Social Dilemmas.
Social dilemmas matter
Economic crisis versus welfare, environmental risks versus opportunities, peace versus friction between nations, separation versus happy relationships. Are people good or bad? What are the basics of trust, fairness, or human cooperation? And ultimately, how can people be promoted to act in ways that serve all of us, now and in the future? These topics and questions are at heart of theory and research on social dilemmas. How so? The reason is simple: Social dilemmas are situations in which self-interest is at odds with collective interests.
A matter of self-interest?
Self-interest is in many ways natural, but at the same time conflicting with many collective goals. Maintaining or promoting a clean, unpolluted, and healthy environment calls for some investment or self-restraint. Maintaining or promoting a healthy and productive work unit or organization calls for a willingness to go the extra mile. And maintaining a stable and healthy relationship, close or business-like, calls for accommodation and sacrifice.
Want to know more?
There is an exceptionally rich literature on this topic that is extremely well-recognized in the various scientific disciplines, such as antropology, biology, economics, mathematics, political science, psychology, or sociology. After all, theorists and professionals alike like to know the basics of human cooperation, including tendencies such as aggression, retaliation, free-riding, as well as altruism, generosity, and feelings of "we-ness". Find more on the next page on Social Dilemmas.