Co-operative Dilemmas = Situations where the most beneficial action for an
individual will be harmful for the collective group.
o Escalation of Conflict = Interpersonal conflict feeds itself and escalates if one
side does not begin concession.
Ex: See Slide 44
o Tragedy of the Commons = A co-operative dilemma that occurs in situations
where everyone has access to a common pool of goods that will replenish
itself if used in moderation but disappear if overused. People reliably tend to
take more than their share.
Why do we take more than our share?
Anchoring and Adjustment Heuristic
o Desired share is used as an anchor
o Do not sufficiently adjust down
Size of commons is not readily estimable
When do we take our fair share?
Both the size of the common and the group that is sharing it are
The size of an equal share is explicitly stated.
o Prisoner’s Dilemma = A situation where two people must make a collectively-
dependent decision without knowing the other person’s decision
Strategies that maximizes person outcomes (ex: gain most money) in
multi-stage prisoner’s dilemmas:
Co-operate on first round
Then mirror opponent’s response
o Defect as soon as opponent defects
o Continue defecting until they cooperate, then cooperate
If you know when game is about to end:
o Defect on last trial
Prosocial Behaviour = An action performed with the goal of benefiting another
o Types of Healing
Altruism = Helping done purely out of a desire to help another person. It does not
benefit the self and may even involve a cost to the self.
o Altruistic Personality = Dispositional tendency to help others across a wide
variety of situations.
o Most children help but it depends on the situation
o Self-report measures of altruism typically do not predict actual altruistic
When do we help? The situation can influence whether we will help another person
(altruism) or not (bystander apathy)
o Mood = Affects helping behavior
Both good and bad moods increase helping relative to neutral mood
Good Mood & Helping More likely to make positive attributions for others’ behavior
and give them the benefit of the doubt when we ourselves are
in a good mood
Helping helps us maintain good mood
Good moods increase self-attention, so we act more
consistently with our values
Negative Mood & Helping
Negative State Relief = When we feel bad, we are more likely
o Spare Time = We help less when we feel rushed for time
Good Samaritan Study
Participants of the study were rushing to give a speech at
another building on campus and on their way they would pass a
hurting confederate. Those students in a high hurry/late were
the least likely to stop and help and those in low-moderate
hurry were more likely to help.
Urban versus Rural Environments
Urban Overload Hypothesis = Urban environments constantly
bombard you with stimulation, so you keep to yourself to avoid
being overwhelmed by it
o Proof: Where an incident occurs is more important than
where the witnesses grew up
o Proof: City density more important than city size
Bystander Apathy/Bystander Effect = The greater the number
of bystanders who witness an emergency, the les likely that any
one of them is to help. Attributed to two causes: pluralistic
ignorance and diffusion of responsibility
o Pluralistic Ignorance