On the role of group size in social dilemmas

Angelo Romano, Ugo Merlone, Cristina Mosso, Giuliana Spadaro

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Reconciling individual choices with public interest is central to human society: from market competition to environmental protection, there are many situations that can be modelled by means of social dilemmas. This paper reviews the psychological literature contributions investigating the specific impact of group size on cooperation in social dilemmas. Moreover, we present an overview of the main - sometimes conflicting - explanations proposed in the literature. After discussing the possible limitations of this review we discuss the implications and directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
JournalPsicologia sociale
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cooperation
  • Group size
  • Public goods
  • Social dilemmas


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