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Social traps

Social traps Uses the term "social trap" to describe situations like a fish trap, where individuals, organizations, and societies get started in a direction that later proves unpleasant or lethal but difficult to back out of; actions or inactions prompted by self-interest create long-range effects that are to almost no one's interest. Skinnerian mechanisms of reinforcement of behavior are applied to this concept. Examples of 3 types of trap are given: the 1-person trap, which may be caused by delay, ignorance, or sliding reinforcers; the group trap, or "missing-hero" type; and the collective trap, caused by too many individuals seeking the same good. Locked-in patterns of collective behavior, characteristic of social traps, are described as the "invisible hand," "the invisible fist," and the "invisible chain." Ways out of the social trap are suggested. "Nested traps"-the most difficult to escape from-are also discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Psychologist American Psychological Association

Social traps

American Psychologist , Volume 28 (8): 11 – Aug 1, 1973

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Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1973 American Psychological Association
ISSN
0003-066x
eISSN
1935-990X
DOI
10.1037/h0035723
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Uses the term "social trap" to describe situations like a fish trap, where individuals, organizations, and societies get started in a direction that later proves unpleasant or lethal but difficult to back out of; actions or inactions prompted by self-interest create long-range effects that are to almost no one's interest. Skinnerian mechanisms of reinforcement of behavior are applied to this concept. Examples of 3 types of trap are given: the 1-person trap, which may be caused by delay, ignorance, or sliding reinforcers; the group trap, or "missing-hero" type; and the collective trap, caused by too many individuals seeking the same good. Locked-in patterns of collective behavior, characteristic of social traps, are described as the "invisible hand," "the invisible fist," and the "invisible chain." Ways out of the social trap are suggested. "Nested traps"-the most difficult to escape from-are also discussed.

Journal

American PsychologistAmerican Psychological Association

Published: Aug 1, 1973

There are no references for this article.