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Emotional Appraisal of Different Situations in Commons Dilemmas Depending on Social Value Orientation

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Beckenkamp, Martin; Gümbel, Wiebke
Conference: Constituting the Commons: Crafting Sustainable Commons in the New Millennium, the Eighth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Conf. Date: May 31-June 4
Date: 2000
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1256
Sector: Theory
Social Organization
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources--theory
game theory--research
monitoring and sanctioning--models
economic behavior
experimental economics
Abstract: "A usual common consists of a common pool resource and members interacting and managing the resource. It is well-known that the resource is endangered to be overexploited if the members of the common behave self-interested or 'economically rational' ('tragedy of the commons;' Hardin, 1968). In order to counter this dilemma it is often suggested to establish a sanctioning regime on the incentive structure. In an experimental computer scenario we (Ostmann, Wojtyniak & Beckenkamp) simulated a self-governed common based on a scenario from Ostrom/Gardner/Walker and have published results of different experimental series. In these series a sanctioning-regime was introduced by adding limits to investments and a control mechanism. As an independent variable we investigated different sanctioning factors. "Game-theoretical predicted increase in efficiency could not be confirmed in experiments. On the contrary: the results were even worse than equilibria prescribe for extremely low and extremely high sanctions. The players reached the Nash-equilibrium only for the medium sanction factor. The difference in efficiency was much lower between the other sanctioning factors. At the moment there are two different ways of explanation: in a first approach we explained these results by considering different types of individuals and reactance-phenomena in relation to the incentive structure. Unfortunately we only have hints from verbal protocols for this interpretation. The other interpretation is that this result has been a statistical outlier and we made an error of first kind. For this reason we are just starting a new experiment with a replication of the investigation of the influence of three different monetary sanctioning factors. However, in this experiment we will first classify the social value orientation (competitor, individualist and co-operator) of the subjects and paralellize the experimental groups with respect to this variable. We also will give a short questionnaire consisting of 16 different items raising the emotional appraisal after each period within the experimental setup, the whole set-up consisting of 20 periods with 8 subjects participating. The whole experiment consists of 9 groups and three different experimental conditions of severeness of monetary sanctioning, thus with 3 groups under each condition. "We hope that we can replicate the demonstration of the particular efficiency of the medium sanctioning factor. In this case we can fill the gap of lacking account about the specific psychological impact of moderate sanctioning regimes by explaining the results with different modalities of emotional appraisal depending on social value orientation. "What is rather new in this experimental set-up is that we are interested in how different situations in commons dilemmas (like calm periods, crisis, being detected by a control) take effect on different types of subjects. Only few experiments on emotional appraisal in resource dilemmas have been conducted, but usually with the opposite question formulation: how different 'moods' affect appropriation. Thus even if the results mentioned above cannot be replicated, we can present some data on the influence of different situations of appropriation on the emotional appraisal."

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