Timing uncertainty in collective risk dilemmas encourages group reciprocation and polarization

Elias Fernandez Domingos, Jelena Grujić, Francisco C. Santos, Juan C. Burguillo Rial, Georg Kirchsteiger, Francisco C. Santos & Tom Lenaerts
Social dilemmas are often shaped by actions involving uncertain returns only achievable in the future, such as climate action or voluntary vaccination. In this context, uncertainty may produce non-trivial effects. Here, we assess experimentally — through a collective risk dilemma — the effect of timing uncertainty, i.e. how uncertainty about when a target needs to be reached affects the participants’ behaviours. We show that timing uncertainty prompts not only early generosity but also polarised outcomes,...
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