Groups Reward Individual Sacrifice: The Status Solution to the Collective Action Problem

  title={Groups Reward Individual Sacrifice: The Status Solution to the Collective Action Problem},
  author={Robb Willer},
  journal={American Sociological Review},
  pages={23 - 43}
  • Robb Willer
  • Published 1 February 2009
  • Psychology
  • American Sociological Review
One of sociology's classic puzzles is how groups motivate their members to set aside self-interest and contribute to collective action. This article presents a solution to the problem based on status as a selective incentive motivating contribution. Contributors to collective action signal their motivation to help the group and consequently earn diverse benefits from group members–in particular, higher status–and these rewards encourage greater giving to the group in the future. In Study 1… 

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