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Cooperating, Fast and Slow: Testing the Social Heuristics Hypothesis.

By Eirik Str\uf8mland, Sigve Tj\uf8tta and Gaute Torsvik

Abstract

Are humans intuitively cooperative, or do we need to deliberate in order to be generous to others? The Social Heuristics Hypothesis (SHH) proposes that fast instinctive decision making promotes cooperation in social dilemmas. In this paper, we conduct a novel time-pressure experiment to shed light on the cognitive underpinnings of cooperation. Although we find no evidence for a time-pressure effect when considering all subjects, our results, together with a re-analysis of independent data, indicate that a single factor \u2013 payoff comprehension \u2013 accounts for some studies failure to replicate the finding that fast and intuitive decision making promotes cooperation. Given payoff comprehension, the SHH predicts behavior well. We believe this finding provides a unifying interpretation of the conflicting results in the literature

Topics: C72, C91, C92, D03, ddc:330, cooperation, intuition, dual-process, public goods game
Publisher: Munich: Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo)
Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:econstor.eu:10419/141852
Provided by: EconStor

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