Social and Temporal Orientations in Social Dilemmas
The health and vitality of relationships, groups, and society at large are strongly challenged by social dilemmas, or conflicts between short-term self-interest and long-term collective interest. Pollution, depletion of natural resources, and intergroup conflict can be characterized as examples of urgent social dilemmas. This chapter advances a conceptual framework in which we analyze social dilemmas in terms of social and temporal concerns relevant to the social (individual vs. collective) and temporal (short-term vs. long-term) conflicts underlying social dilemmas. We discuss the plasticity of social orientations (altruism, cooperation, egalitarianism, individualism, competition, aggression) and temporal orientations (short-term orientation, future orientation) within the context of Messick and colleagues’ recent appropriateness framework (Weber, Kopelman, & Messick, 2004).