I am interested in understanding human cooperation. Cooperation can be defined as behavior that provides benefits to others. I am especially interested in how people cooperate in situations when cooperation is opposed to each person’s immediate self-interest, so called Social Dilemmas.
I am using social psychological and evolutionary perspectives to understand how cooperation can be promoted and sustained. My research focuses on (a) how people think about their interdependence with others in real-life settings, (b) how power influences cooperation and strategies to promote cooperation (e.g., punishment and gossip), and (c) how emotional cues influence decisions in social dilemma situations.
I consider my field of research, cooperation, a very important area of research as it has implications for policy makers and planners. As I learned more about social dilemma research from my colleagues, group size became my focus. Over the next four years as a PhD candidate, I will conduct new investigations on group size, work effectively with and learn from great minds within the social dilemma domain, and review the literature in meta-analytic studies.
I am interested in understanding the processes involved in human cooperative decision-making. In particular, I apply theory and methods from economics, social psychology and evolutionary biology to investigate: (a) why people cooperate more with their group members and (b) the power of reciprocity within, between and beyond groups.
- Expectations and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas
- Workplace Deviance and OCBs as Social Dilemmas
- Effects of Gender and Age on Organizational Behaviors
I am broadly interested in the ultimate and proximal causes of cooperation and conflict, which I study through from an interdisciplinary perspective. My work focuses on a) “the games people play” in their daily lives, b) the mechanisms by which people infer outcome interdependence from cues in their social environment, and c) how this subjectively experienced interdependence shapes cooperative behavior.
My main research interest is human cooperation. I am particularly interested to see how various structural features of situations can influence decisions in social dilemma contexts. For example, how can cooperation be promoted under conditions of information uncertainty? How does thought about the future affect cooperation? How do different degrees of power affect cooperation? Additionally, I am interested in applying both experimental methods, and meta-analytic techniques to test these compelling questions.
Olmo van den Akker
I am particularly interested in studying cooperation from an evolutionary perspective. Because of that, my work mainly involves investigating the ultimate and proximate explanations of cooperative behavior. In addition, I am interested in looking at the field of human cooperation from a methodological viewpoint. Methodological topics that I think are of interest are replicability, meta-analysis, publication bias, and questionable research practices.
FORMER PhD STUDENTS
Paul Van Lange
Carsten De Dreu