Huidi Yuan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Kristjen B. Lundberg


This study explores the dynamics of parochial cooperation within intergroup social dilemmas, specifically examining the roles of harm, prototypicality, and the need to belong (NTB). Utilizing an experimental design and an adapted investment game, the study investigates how these factors influence individuals' decisions to engage in cooperation that is biased towards their own group, especially when such actions potentially harm outgroup members. The findings reveal a strong preference for parochial cooperation over universal cooperation and free-riding, consistent with previous research on ingroup favoritism. Notably, this preference is significantly moderated by the harm condition, where participants reduced their parochial investments when outgroup harm was required. The study also uncovers that peripheral members with high NTB seemed to show a notable shift from parochial cooperation towards universal cooperation in the harm condition, highlighting an unexpected and complex interplay between group dynamics and individual psychological needs. This research contributes to our understanding of social behaviors in intergroup conflicts and suggests that interventions aimed at reducing such conflicts may benefit from considering both the psychological needs of group members and specific contexts that might influence these needs.

Included in

Psychology Commons