Proceedings of The 3rd International Conference on Advanced Research in Social Sciences
Social Dilemmas: What Principles or Practical Applications We Can Learn from The Early Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Efforts at Creating a Unified and Cooperative Society
As stated by Kollock (1998) “The study of social dilemmas is the study of the tension between individual and collective rationality” This review seeks to highlight some principles and practical applications related to these dilemmas through a case study of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the 1800’s; as they tried to establish a unified and cooperative people by applying theology through organizational structure and practice. Social dilemma studies often involve scenarios or situations analyzing cost versus benefit decisions between individuals and groups, the analysis of the processes by which those decisions are made, and the influences, both external and intrinsic, that effect the probabilities of the choices made. The analysis of this historical group is instructive in several ways. First, the stated goal of the group was to create a “united” and “equal” society, which is at the heart of the “dilemma” involved in social dilemmas. Second, the group adjusted its approaches to achieve these goals over time with varying degrees of success. Third, the group itself admits that they were unable to meet these goals and has spent considerable time and energy analyzing and attributing the outcomes of these efforts. And finally, this group has a distinctive propensity for record keeping and documenting their own history allowing for a more complete picture of the events being studied.
Keywords: Unity, Cooperation, Social Dilemma, Society, Cooperative.