Dara M. Wald, assistant professor in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, has co-authored a research article that was recently published in the Journal of Environmental Management.
The article, titled “Understanding the influence of power and empathic perspective–taking on collaborative natural resource management,” explores the relationship between power, perspective taking and collaboration as it relates to natural resource management.
The paper’s abstract states:
“Public engagement in collaborative natural resource management necessitates shared understanding and collaboration. Empathic perspective-taking is a critical facilitator of shared understanding and positive social interactions, such as collaboration. Yet there is currently little understanding about how to reliably generate empathic perspective-taking and collaboration, particularly in situations involving the unequal distribution of environmental resources or power.
Here we examine how experiencing the loss or gain of social power influenced empathic perspective-taking and behavior within a computer-mediated scenario. Participants (n = 180) were randomly assigned to each condition: high resources, low resources, lose resources, gain resources. Contrary to our expectations, participants in the perspective-taking condition, specifically those who lost resources, also lost perspective taking and exhibited egoistic behavior. This finding suggests that resource control within the collaborative process is a key contextual variable that influences perspective-taking and collaborative behavior. Moreover, the observed relationship between perspective-taking and egoistic behavior within a collaborative resource sharing exercise suggests that when resource control or access is unequal, interventions to promote perspective-taking deserve careful consideration.”