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Title: The effect of subgroup homogeneity of efficacy on contribution in public good dilemmas
Authors: Yam, PPC
Au, WT
Tao, L
Lu, S
Leung, H 
Fung, JMY
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Source: PLoS one, 31 July 2018, v. 13, no. 7, e0201473 How to cite?
Journal: PLoS one 
Abstract: This paper examines how to maximize contribution in public good dilemmas by arranging people into homogeneous or heterogeneous subgroups. Past studies on the effect of homogeneity of efficacy have exclusively manipulated group composition in their experimental designs, which might have imposed a limit on ecological validity because group membership may not be easily changed in reality. In this study, we maintained the same group composition but varied the subgroup composition. We developed a public good dilemmas paradigm in which participants were assigned to one of the four conditions (high- vs. low-efficacy; homogeneous vs. heterogeneous subgroup) to produce their endowments and then to decide how much to contribute. We found that individuals in homogeneous and heterogeneous subgroups produced a similar amount and proportion of contribution, which was due to the two mediating effects that counteracted each other, namely (a) perceived efficacy relative to subgroup and (b) expectation of contribution of other subgroup members. This paper demonstrates both the pros and cons of arranging people into homogeneous and heterogeneous subgroups of efficacy.
EISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201473
Rights: © 2018 Yam et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The following publication Chun Yam, P. P., Tat Ng, G. T., Au, W. T., Tao, L., Lu, S., Leung, H., & Fung, J. M. Y. (2018). The effect of subgroup homogeneity of efficacy on contribution in public good dilemmas. PLoS ONE, 13(7), e0201473 is available at
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