The Cooperation Group
Lead PI: Yochai Benkler
The Cooperation Group project is an interdisciplinary community of researchers, projects, and practitioners engaged in studying the underlying factors that contribute to human cooperation. The project aims to encourage dialogue and serve as a meeting point for work occurring on cooperation in a variety of fields including sociology, behavioral economics, simulation, evolutionary theory, law, Internet studies, business and innovation research, and psychology. Through the study of online cooperation, the goal is to examine an expansive swath of cases and develop a deeper understanding of the varieties of communities and cooperation. This will enable researchers to develop and test a set of cooperative systems design “levers” that can inform future attempts to foster online cooperation. Insights from the project will also be relevant to studying cooperation in offline groups and organizations.
The project hosts a weekly public seminar on emerging research in the field where academics from a variety of disciplines present and discuss their research. The Cooperation Group has also conducted large-scale studies of online cooperation and investigated how traditional institutions have adopted cooperative practices. Researchers are currently in the process of developing an online platform for conducting economic game experiments.
The team also initiated two separate observational studies. The first examines the relationship between commons-based and collaborative strategies and venture-funded Internet startup performance. The second compares the effects of symbolic prizes on intrinsically and extrinsically motivated contributors to Wikipedia. See Studies link for a description of each these studies in greater detail.