Script: Nils Köbis and Paul van Lange
Narration: Hadija Mkwella
Video: Diana Onu


For some further reading:

Great introductory text on social dilemmas:

Readings on social dilemmas and how they can solve real problems:

  • Anon, Understanding human cooperation in social dilemmas: Field economic experiments with artisanal benthic fishers in Chile | CICS. Available at: [Accessed January 30, 2017].
  • Cardenas, J.-C., 2000. How Do Groups Solve Local Commons Dilemmas? Lessons from Experimental Economics in the Field. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 2, pp.305–322.
  • Irwin, K. & Berigan, N., 2013. Trust, Culture, and Cooperation: A Social Dilemma Analysis of Pro-Environmental Behaviors. The Sociological Quarterly, 54(3), pp.424–449. Available at: .

Papers linking theory on social dilemmas and its real-life applications:

  • Ostrom, E., Burger, J. & Field, C., 1999. Revisiting the commons: Local lessons, global challenges. Science, 284, pp.278–282.
  • Van Lange, P.A.M. & Joireman, J.A., 2008. How We Can Promote Behavior That Serves All of Us in the Future. Social Issues and Policy Review, 2, pp.127–157.

Garreth Hardin, the "Godfather" of social dilemmas research:

  • The classic study: Hardin, G., 1968. The tragedy of the commons J. Dryzek & D. Schlosberg, eds. Science, 162, pp.1243–1248.
  • 30 years later: Hardin, G., 1998. Extensions of 'The Tragedy of the Commons'; Science, 280(5364).

On corruption as a social dilemma:

  • Köbis, N.C. et al., 2016. Prospection in individual and interpersonal corruption dilemmas. Review of General Psychology, 20(1), pp.71–85.
  • Rothstein, B., 2000. Trust, Social Dilemmas and Collective Memories. Journal of Theoretical Politics, 12(4), pp.477–501.
  • Köbis, N. C., Van Prooijen, J. W., Righetti, F., & Van Lange, P. A. M. (2017). The road to bribery and corruption: Slippery slope or steep cliff? Psychological Science, 28, 1-10.

On trust:

  • Van Lange, P. A. M. (2015). Generalized trust: Four lessons from genetics and culture. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24(1), 71-76.

On social value orientation:

  • Balliet, D., Parks, C.D. & Joireman, J., 2009. Social value orientation and cooperation in social dilemmas: A meta-analysis. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 12, pp.533–547.

Further reading on social dilemmas:

  • Van Lange, P. A. M. Joireman, J., Parks, C. D., & Van Dijk, E. (2013). The psychology of social dilemmas: A review. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 120, 125-141.
  • Rand, D.G., Greene, J.D. & Nowak, M.A., 2012. Spontaneous giving and calculated greed. Nature, 489(7416), pp.427–430.
  • Fehr, E. & Gächter, S., 2000. Cooperation and punishment in public goods experiments. American Economic Review, 90(4), pp.980–994.
  • Dawes, R.M., 1980. Social dilemmas. Annual review of psychology, 31(1), pp.169–193.
  • Dawes, R.M. & Messick, D.M., 2000. Social Dilemmas. International Journal of Psychology, 35(2), pp.111–116.
  • Kollock, P., 1998. Social dilemmas: The anatomy of cooperation. Annual review of sociology.
  • Axelrod, R. A. (1984). The evolution of cooperation. New York: Basic Books.
  • Fehr, E., & Gächter, S. (2002). Altruistic punishment in humans. Nature, 415, 137-140.
  • Yamagishi, T. (2011a). Trust: The evolutionary game of mind and society. New York, NY: Springer.


The production of this video was supported by a Grass Roots Grant from Tilburg University.