Understanding and Intuitive Cooperation

31 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2018

See all articles by Eirik Stromland

Eirik Stromland

University of Bergen

Sigve Tjotta

University of Bergen - Department of Economics

Gaute Torsvik

University of Bergen - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Date Written: February 9, 2018

Abstract

Are humans intuitively cooperative, or does reflection foster cooperation? The Social Heuristics Hypothesis (SHH) proposes that intuition promotes cooperation, but the evidence is inconsistent across studies. We combine a lab experiment with a re-analysis of existing studies to test for an effect of time-pressure on cooperation. We suggest – based on a meta-study of about 12.000 subjects from lab and online experiments across the world - that time pressure only influences cooperation if subjects understand they are engaged in a social dilemma. This finding increases the relevance of the SHH for experiments in behavioral economics as such experiments typically take great care to ensure subject understanding. Moreover, while our findings are intuitively consistent with the Social Heuristics Hypothesis, our evidence suggests that future theoretical research should aim to explicitly incorporate the link between understanding, cognitive processes and cooperation.

Keywords: Cooperation, Intuition, Dual-Process, Public Goods Game

JEL Classification: C72, C91, C92, D03

Suggested Citation

Stromland, Eirik and Tjotta, Sigve and Torsvik, Gaute, Understanding and Intuitive Cooperation (February 9, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3120986 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3120986

Eirik Stromland (Contact Author)

University of Bergen ( email )

Muséplassen 1
N-5008 Bergen, +47 55 58
Norway

Sigve Tjotta

University of Bergen - Department of Economics ( email )

Fosswinckelsgt. 6
N-5007 Bergen, 5007
Norway

Gaute Torsvik

University of Bergen - Department of Economics ( email )

Fosswinckelsgt. 6
N-5007 Bergen, 5007
Norway
55589225 (Phone)
55589210 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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