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Group norms, physical distance, and ecological efficiency in common pool resource management


Brucks, W; Reips, U D (2007). Group norms, physical distance, and ecological efficiency in common pool resource management. Social Influence, 2(2):112-135.

Abstract

Earlier research has repeatedly shown that people tend to follow group norms
when using common pool resources. The present commons dilemma study
seeks to extend these findings with two inherently relevant concepts: First, the
ecological efficiency of the group norm, and second, the physical distance
between the actors involved. Physical distance was manipulated by administering
a web-based commons dilemma task to participants in the laboratory
versus participants in the Internet. Ecological efficiency was manipulated by
giving participants feedback about an overusing or a conserving group norm
while the pool was either big or small. Conformity effects were strongest when
the perceived group norm was ecologically efficient and participants were
physically closer. Moreover, the effect of physical distance was mediated by
the importance a person attached to the group’s behavior. When physically
farther apart, individuals attached less importance to the group’s behavior
and, as a consequence, showed less conformity. The results are discussed in the
light of previous commons dilemma research and social psychological theories,
and consequences for natural resource management are reflected.

Abstract

Earlier research has repeatedly shown that people tend to follow group norms
when using common pool resources. The present commons dilemma study
seeks to extend these findings with two inherently relevant concepts: First, the
ecological efficiency of the group norm, and second, the physical distance
between the actors involved. Physical distance was manipulated by administering
a web-based commons dilemma task to participants in the laboratory
versus participants in the Internet. Ecological efficiency was manipulated by
giving participants feedback about an overusing or a conserving group norm
while the pool was either big or small. Conformity effects were strongest when
the perceived group norm was ecologically efficient and participants were
physically closer. Moreover, the effect of physical distance was mediated by
the importance a person attached to the group’s behavior. When physically
farther apart, individuals attached less importance to the group’s behavior
and, as a consequence, showed less conformity. The results are discussed in the
light of previous commons dilemma research and social psychological theories,
and consequences for natural resource management are reflected.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:20 Jul 2009 05:12
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:17
Publisher:Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN:1553-4529
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/15534510701193436
Official URL:http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdf?vid=4&hid=2&sid=a18f56b7-724d-4642-8b92-6708696b5ed6%40sessionmgr110
Other Identification Number:AN 25134686

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