Understanding the influence of power and empathic perspective-taking on collaborative natural resource management. Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.

published proceedings

  • J Environ Manage

author list (cited authors)

  • Wald, D. M., Segal, E. A., Johnston, E. W., & Vinze, A.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Wald, Dara M||Segal, Elizabeth A||Johnston, Erik W||Vinze, Ajay

publication date

  • September 2017