The Dual-Process Approach to Human Sociality: Meta-analytic evidence for a theory of internalized heuristics for self-preservation
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
147 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2019 Last revised: 6 Nov 2023
Date Written: May 8, 2023
Which social decisions are influenced by intuitive processes? Which by deliberative processes? The dual-process approach to human sociality has emerged in the last decades as a vibrant and exciting area of research. Yet, a perspective that integrates empirical and theoretical work is lacking. This review and meta-analysis synthesizes the existing literature on the cognitive basis of cooperation, altruism, truth-telling, positive and negative reciprocity, and deontology, and develops a framework that organizes the experimental regularities. The meta-analytic results suggest that intuition favours a set of heuristics that are related to the instinct for self-preservation: people avoid being harmed, avoid harming others (especially when there is a risk of harm to themselves), and are averse to disadvantageous inequalities. Finally, this paper highlights some key research questions to further advance our understanding of the cognitive foundations of human sociality.
Keywords: dual-process, pro-sociality, cooperation, altruism, honesty, reciprocity, moral judgments
JEL Classification: C70, C79, C90, C91, C92, D64, D70, D71, H41
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