Discretionary databases as social dilemmas

Terry Connolly, Brian K. Thorn, Alan Heminger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


The intent of this paper is to extend the analysis of social dilemmas (Dawes, 1980; Messick & Brewer, 1983) to include certain classes of multiperson information sharing and decision making processes. The processes of interest are those in which each of several motivationally myopic individuals initially holds information that has decision relevance to at least some of the others, and has access to some medium of publication (a “database”) which would make the information available to the interested users. If a cost (such as money, effort, delay, potential embarrassment, or loss of strategic advantage) is associated with such publication, the incentive structure may take on the character of a “public goods” or “commons” problem: The individually dominant strategy, regardless of the choices of others, is to withhold one’s information; the aggregate of such choices is the individually less-preferred, socially deficient equilibrium in which no information is contributed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSocial Dilemmas
Subtitle of host publicationTheoretical Issues and Research Findings
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781134675296
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Discretionary databases as social dilemmas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this