Volunteering Applications and methodology Applied Social Psychology



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Research Questions

  • Does volunteering make people more trusting?
  • Does volunteering keep people healthy?
  • …leaving the question ‘How can we get people to volunteer more?’ for a future occasion.

Now here’s a social dilemma

Should I volunteer?

This is a social dilemma because

  • There is an opportunity cost for me: volunteering takes time that I could spend working for pay.
  • The benefits of volunteering accrue to a collective.
  • Personally I would be better off not volunteering, but the group would not.

What type of social dilemma?

Trust game

Dictator game

Ultimatum game

Public goods game

Volunteer’s dilemma

Samaritan’s dilemma

Or something else?

Perhaps it is not a social dilemma at all.

Three facts

  • Volunteers live in better health.
  • Volunteers are less likely to get depressed.
  • Volunteers ultimately live longer.



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