The Effect of Group Attitude Diversity on Cooperation in Social Dilemmas: When and How do Undecided People Promote Cooperation?

Publication Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



Groups often have members who hold opposing opinions on specific issues. The presence of undecided people within a group may promote cooperation among group members who hold opposing views on an issue under consideration. The study examined the joint effects of group attitude diversity (i.e. mixed attitude diversity vs. polarized attitude diversity) and one’s strength of attitude on the cooperation. In groups considering a controversial issue with no undecided group members (i.e. polarized attitude diversity), people with strong attitudes were less likely than those with weak attitudes to cooperate with group members who held opposing views. However, the above differences became non-significant when participants were placed in groups with some undecided group members (i.e. mixed attitude diversity). The results from the study suggested that the presence of undecided group members mitigates the negative impact of attitude strength on subsequent cooperation.


Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Research Areas



International Association for Conflict Management 25th Annual Conference, 11-14 July 2012

City or Country

Stellenbosch, South Africa

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