Trust, Cooperation, and Collective Action in Diverse Communities
How do people view and respond to racial/ethnic diversity in their communities? Do they respond differently to diversity depending on the specific racial/ethnic groups––e.g., Whites, Blacks, Latinos, or Asians––that make up that diversity? The first part of this project examines how people from different racial/ethnic backgrounds define diversity, distinguishing heterogeneity from the share of non-Whites in a community. The second part asks whether and how people learn from past cross-racial interactions and become trusting toward strangers from different racial/ethnic backgrounds. The third part focuses on urban neighborhoods where diversity “works,” i.e., where neighbors have repeatedly organized to achieve common goals, despite racial/ethnic differences between them. Here, the goal is to uncover the mechanisms––like communication and sanctioning––that successfully promote cooperation between people from different backgrounds. As part of the project, Maria Abascal will lead a research practicum for advanced undergraduate students and graduate students on the topic of experimental research methods. She will also continue and expand on our ongoing experimental design workshop. This workshop brings together experimental social scientists from across the Columbia to exchange ideas and receive feedback on original experimental research. The findings of the research will provide insights useful in formulating and implementing policies, including those related to affirmative action, immigration, and residential integration.