The effect of feedback on support for a sanctioning system in a social dilemma: The difference between installing and maintaining the sanction
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When do people support sanctioning systems in social dilemmas? Sanctions increase collective efficiency, but have the disadvantage of restricting people’s autonomy. This paper studies the effects of feedback about collective (in)efficiency and the influence of the presence or absence of a sanctioning system. The results show that, except after feedback about collective inefficiency, people were reluctant to support installation of a sanctioning system. When a sanctioning system was already present, however, sanction support was strong and not affected by feedback. Interestingly, the presence of a sanctioning system increased pessimism about attaining collective efficiency. This suggests that the mere presence of a sanctioning system creates the need to have that sanctioning system, and that installing one can have irreversible consequences.