The Psychological Roots of Societal Self Harm: Mass Participation Experiments
Parklife: A mass participation experiment into the psychological roots of societal self harm
Collective acts of societal self-harm, ranging from littering to rioting, have been studied extensively from a sociological and political perspective, but it has proved difficult to investigate them from a psychological perspective because of the practical challenges involved in experimentally manipulating the behaviour of a large number of individuals interacting in real time.
This project will develop a mass participation game, Parklife, that can be played online or amongst large groups of people, in which teams of players can develop or vandalise a virtual park. By engaging hundreds of people and manipulating factors within the game - shown by previous research to drive societal self- harm - the researchers aim to produce causal experimental evidence that will complement existing scholarship and make an important contribution to the ongoing policy debate on the effects of social inequality.
Grant Amount and Duration
January 2017 - December 2019