The Tragedy of The Commons in a lecture held by Prof. Beckenkamp

In the context of the event series "Science in Cologne Houses" of the Kölner Wissenschaftsrunde (KWR) HMKW Prorector Prof. Dr. habil. Martin Beckenkamp gave a lecture on the so-called tragedy of the commons and the importance of institutions in times of crisis.

HMKW-Prorector Prof. Dr. Martin Beckenkamp (Department of Psychology) during his lecture at the VHS Cologne. Photo: Boyun Wang

HMKW-Prorector Prof. Dr. Martin Beckenkamp (Department of Psychology) during his lecture at the VHS Cologne. Photo: Boyun Wang

Global warming, the disappearance of biodiversity or environmental pollution - all these are crises that affect not only the quality of life, but more and more existential conditions of all human beings, if not countered by appropriate measures. Scientists have been pointing out these problems for decades. And yet people behave in such a way that commonly used, limited goods and the environment continue to suffer. Possible explanations for this can be found in research in social psychology or game theory, but are rarely communicated to a wider audience, for example in textbooks, museums, or on other platforms and media. This is was one of the main aspects in a presentation by HMKW-Prorector Prof. Dr. habil. Martin Beckenkamp: As part of the event series "Science in Cologne Houses," the professor from the Department of Psychology at HMKW Cologne gave the lecture "Tragedy of the Commons - The Importance of Institutions in Crisis" in May at the Volkshochschule (VHS) Cologne. Prof. Beckenkamp explained the social dilemmas that humanity must solve and the extent to which institutions (that is, controls and sanctions) can help.

With the interested audience, among them also HMKW graduates and students of the study programs Media and Business Psychology (Bachelor) and Business Psychology (Master), a lively discussion arose afterwards about rationality, responsibility and reason in cooperation.

Due to the positive response and the current relevance, Prof. Dr. Beckenkamp will offer the lecture as a free trial lecture at HMKW Cologne this summer. More information will be available shortly.

The event series "Wissenschaft in Kölner Häusern" (Science in Cologne Houses) invites Cologne residents to participate in current research questions and results from Cologne educational institutions. The format was launched in 2014 by the Kölner Wissenschaftsrunde (KWR), of which HMKW Cologne is a member.