I'm trying to read up on the phenomena where one person's desire/motivation to do a certain task or obligation within a system of process is influenced by whether he thinks others in that process are also doing their job.
"John's willingness to report a crime to the police is low because he feels the cops in his town are incompetent. He thinks his efforts will just be wasted"
"Mike's desire to recycle is high because he sees how serious the city council are in collecting and separating the waste"
Currently I'm thinking Ryan & Deci's Self-determination Theory might fit to explain this (the competence part or the 3 SDT pillars), but SDT only concerns with the individual's sense of achievement/competence. My angle is more like "I will do [won't do] my part because I know someone else down the line will do [won't do] their part to achieve the objective", so there is a social/systems element to it.
I'm also thinking maybe it's literature around scepticism, but that concept is closer to James Randi-esque 'scientific scepticism' rather than what I'm going for. Pessimism doesn't really work as well, since it deals mostly with personal/internal factors as opposed to external..
Any ideas what theory/literature talks about this?
Edit: answered my own question below.