Psycology – Social Determinism

How does group size influence peoples responses in a social dilemma situation? This study attempts to answer this question by providing a scenario to participants involving a social dilemma – to cooperate with other group members or to compete with them, in the process of acquiring more wealth. Participants were presented with a fishing simulation over a computer network, which required them to act cooperatively to acquire the most wealth. The results showed a difference between the data for large and small groups in the total mean money earned, and the time taken to earn it. It was found that larger group sizes decreased the amount of cooperation within groups, which is consistent with the hypothesis that less money would be earned by individuals in larger groups. It was also found that larger groups tend to finish earlier indicating a more competitive perspective, also supporting the hypotheses
"Social interdependence involves settings in which each person's well-being is strongly dependent upon the decisions and behaviours of both themselves and other people" (Beggan, Platow, & McClintock, 1991,p.397). Social Interdependence is a major part of our everyday lives, with decisions constantly being made which directly, or indirectly affects ourselves and others.
Many decisions faced involve some level of social interdependence as they usually have some effect on others in the society, for example, the example given by Hardin (1968) of the'Tragedy of the Commons'. In this situation farmers are able to place their stock on a common piece of land, the village common, for grazing. The farmers, driven by their motives for more wealth, increase the numbers of stock grazing the land, which in turn leads to overgrazing and destruction of the common area. The farmers appear to neglect the negative effects of overgrazing as they are shared with all of the other farmers using the common land. This issue is ref…


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