Multimedia environmental decision-making simulation

Abstract

A Hypercard-based computer simulation is described here that allows testing and projections about decision making in commons dilemmas. Although the program applies to many different types of value tradeoffs, it focuses on issues related to the harvesting (and overharvesting) of natural resources. In particular, it uses the Atlantic fisheries to look at conflicts between satisfying immediate needs and protecting long-term sustainability. The program’s calculations and projections are based on variables including fish stocks, replenishment rate, average household expenses, value per ton of fish, amount of fishing per year, number of competitors, harvesting strategy of competing decision makers, actual fish caught per year, yearly income, and the levels of harvesting that would maintain a sustainable level of the resource. The multimedia interface includes on-screen movies, moving graphs of results, still photos, cartoon animation, and audio instructions. This simulation program provides an engaging way of collecting data on decision making in social dilemmas and is also well suited to public/educational presentations.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Birjulin, A. A., Smith, J. M., &Bell, P. A. (1993). Monetary reward, verbal reinforcement and harvest strategy of others in a simulated commons dilemma.Journal of Social Psychology,133, 207–214.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Cox, K. (1992, December 19). New Atlantic fish quotas to cost 2,000 more jobs.The Globe & Mail, pp. B1, B12.

  3. Cox, K. (1994, April 19). Tobin won’t face same outcry as Crosbie over fishery news.The Globe & Mail, p. A4.

  4. Dawes, R. (1980). Social dilemmas.Annual Review of Psychology,31, 169–193.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Gifford, R., &Wells, J. (1991). FISH: A commons dilemma simulation.Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers,23, 437–441.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Hardin, G. (1968, December 13). The tragedy of the commons.Science,162, 1243–1248.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Harris, L. (1990).Independent review of the state of the northern cod stock (final report). Ottawa, ON: Communications Directorate, Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Henderson, R. W. (1991).Mind scope [Computer demonstrations]. St. Paul, MN: West.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Lear, W. H. (1989). Atlantic cod. InUnderwater World (factsheet). Ottawa, ON: Communications Directorate, Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Ludwig, T. (1992).PsychSim: Interactive graphic simulations for psychology [Computer program]. New York: Worth.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Mosler, H.-J. (1993). Self-dissemination of environmentally-responsible behavior: The influence of trust in a commons dilemma game.Journal of Environmental Psychology,13, 111–123.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Platt, J. (1973). Social traps.American Psychologist,28, 641–651.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Samuelson, C. D., Messick, D. M., Rutte, C. G., &Wilke, H. (1984). Individual and structural solutions to resource dilemmas in two cultures.Journal of Personality & Social Psychology,47, 94–104.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Shimoff, E., Catania, A. C., &Matthews, B. A. (1992).Psychology on a disk (version 4.0). Columbia, MD: CMS Software.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Slotnick, R. (1986).Psychware [Computer demonstrations]. New York: West.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Task Force on Incomes and Adjustment in the Atlantic Fishery (1993).Charting a new course: Towards the fishery of the future. Ottawa, ON: Communications Directorate, Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Craig Summers.

Additional information

The author would like to acknowledge important supporting funding provided by Employment and Immigration Canada-Summer Employment/Experience Development Program, the Laurentian University Research Fund, and the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, Northern Training Opportunities Program. Credit for much of the artistry of the graphics and HyperCard programming is due Trevor Deck, who worked as a programmer and research assistant on this program.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Summers, C. Multimedia environmental decision-making simulation. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers 28, 598–602 (1996). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03200548

Download citation

Keywords

  • Fish Stock
  • Social Dilemma
  • Fishing Industry
  • Macintosh Computer
  • Replenishment Rate