Social Decision Heuristics Used by Families in Allocating Resources

Göteborg Psychological Reports, 1999, 29 (3)

16 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2014

See all articles by Cecilia Jakobsson

Cecilia Jakobsson

University of Gothenburg - Department of Psychology

Marcus Selart

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Strategy and Management

Niklas Karlsson

Goteborg University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology

Tommy Garling

University of Gothenburg

Date Written: March 14, 2014

Abstract

The hypothesis is proposed that due to shallow information processing families frequently use an equal-division social decision heuristic in allocating resources. In Study 1 a survey was conducted of a nationwide sample (n=446) and a smaller student sample (n=50) consisting of married or cohabiting participants. In line with our prediction, it was found that allocating part of a monthly income to joint or individual savings followed an equal-division rule. However, choices to maximize joint savings were almost equally frequent. Since the prevalence of a joint family economy correlated with these choices, participants probably applied a social-decision heuristic of subscribing to a status-quo rule. In Study 2 a sample of 100 students made fictitious choices of allocating part of a monthly income to joint or individual savings after either an income increase or decrease. Consistent with the results of Study 1, the equal-division rule was used after an income increase and when the prior allocations were equal. However, an income decrease or unequal prior allocations appeared to induce less shallow information processing resulting in the application of an equity rule.

Suggested Citation

Jakobsson, Cecilia and Selart, Marcus and Karlsson, Niklas and Garling, Tommy, Social Decision Heuristics Used by Families in Allocating Resources (March 14, 2014). Göteborg Psychological Reports, 1999, 29 (3), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2409042

Cecilia Jakobsson

University of Gothenburg - Department of Psychology ( email )

P.O. Box 500
Göteborg, 40530
Sweden

Marcus Selart (Contact Author)

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Strategy and Management ( email )

Breiviksveien 40
N-5045 Bergen
Norway
+47 55 95 96 95 (Phone)

Niklas Karlsson

Goteborg University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology ( email )

P.O. Box 500
Goteborg, 40530
Sweden

Tommy Garling

University of Gothenburg ( email )

Viktoriagatan 30
Göteborg, 405 30
Sweden

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