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Altenmüller, Marlene Sophie ORCID: 0000-0002-1714-3601; Gollwitzer, Mario ORCID: 0000-0003-4310-4793 (February 2022): Prosociality in science. In: Current Opinion in Psychology, Vol. 43: pp. 284-288
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Abstract

Science is unthinkable without collaboration between scientists. Yet, science is also unthinkable without competition (i.e., competing for the best and most solid arguments and limited, precious resources). In this review, we argue that scientific work routines represent social dilemmas and that two facets of prosociality help researchers solve these dilemmas: (i) sacrificing personal profit for the sake of collective profit (i.e., cooperation) and (ii) deciding to make oneself vulnerable to exploitation (i.e., trust). We use two contemporary developments in science to illustrate our reasoning: First, researchers’ willingness to engage with the lay public (e.g., investing one’s limited time to public engagement) and second, their commitment to ‘open science’ (e.g., sharing one’s data and materials despite the risk of exploitation).