Mathematical Biology Seminar: Jennifer Jacquet (UBC)

  • Date: 01/27/2011
Jennifer Jacquet (UBC)

University of British Columbia


Guilt, shame, and the tragedy of the commons


Humans are currently jeopardizing the other species in life's fabric and potentially our own future due to our overuse of common resources. Over the last two decades, a large effort has focused on trying to persuade individuals to consume differently. These conservation efforts largely appeal to guilt and an individual's willingness to do the right thing. What about the role of shame in solving the tragedy of the commons? I will explore the differences between guilt and shame and then present results from a recent public goods experiment conducted with Christoph Hauert and others that tests the effects of shame on cooperation. I will also examine our findings in the context of shame's real world applications and concerns.


2:00pm-3:00pm, WMAX 110