The Remorseless Working of Things: A Common Tragedy in Environmental Resource Management

Harris, C. L. (1979). The remorseless working of things: A common tragedy in environmental resource management. EDRA: Environmental Design Research Association, 10, 431-435.

Tested the hypothesis that a territorialized resource pool avoids the social trap of wasting energy. A field investigation of apartment, townhouse, and single-family home dwellers in Arizona and Virginia who either pay for all utilities or only electricity, or who do not pay for any utilities, was conducted. Results show that Ss most likely to waste energy live in settings that promote social traps (i.e., those in which all utilities are included with rent).

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