How can we promote behaviour that serves all of us in the future

P.A.M. van Lange, J.A. Joireman

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    The health and vitality of relationships, groups, and society at large is strongly challenged by social dilemmas or conflicts between short-term self-interest and long-term collective interest. Pollution, depletion of natural resources, and intergroup conflict can be characterized as examples of urgent social dilemmas. This article advances a conceptual framework in which we analyze social dilemmas in terms of social and temporal concerns relevant to the social (individual vs. collective) and temporal (short-term vs. long-term) conflicts underlying social dilemmas. We discuss the plasticity of social orientations (altruism, cooperation, egalitarianism, individualism, competition, aggression) and temporal orientations (short-term orientation, future orientation), and illustrate their " logical effects" and " paradoxical effects" on behavior that supports collectively desired outcomes. This analysis enables us to suggest a set of novel recommendations for policy and intervention to help solve various social dilemmas in contemporary society. © 2008 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)127-157
    JournalSocial Issue and Policy Review
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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