Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New study rebuts increase in willingness to cooperate from intuitive thinking

Date:
June 5, 2013
Source:
Linköping University
Summary:
A study that was presented in Nature last year attracted a great deal of attention when it asserted that intuition promotes cooperation. But a group of researchers in behavioral and neuroeconomics say that this is not true, in a new study now being published in Nature.

A study that was presented in Nature last year attracted a great deal of attention when it asserted that intuition promotes cooperation. But a group of researchers in behavioural and neuroeconomics at Linköping University say that this is not true, in a new study now being published in Nature.

Related Articles


The first study drew the conclusion that people cooperate more if they are forced to make decisions when pressed for time. The research group (Rand et al.) let the test subjects make decisions under pressure on social dilemmas. They found that the decisions made at the time were more oriented towards cooperation. The conclusion was that decisions under pressure that build on intuition promote cooperation. It has gotten a lot of attention and aroused a great deal of discussion.

But it is not true, argues a group of researchers at several universities, including Linköping University. In a new study now being presented in Nature, they show that being forced to decide under pressure of time has no effect on the desire to cooperate.

"Our findings cast serious doubt over the idea of people as intuitively willing to cooperate," says Gustav Tinghög, part of the group for behavioural and neuroeconomics.

How decisions are made is a major issue for research in this field. People have two decision-making systems in the brain: an intuitive one, and a more reflective analytical one. Both systems, however, can be rational, and they integrate with each other in various decision-making situations, Tinghög emphasises.

"Humanity's survival here on Earth is built on rationally grounded intuition."

When and where we choose to cooperate is an issue that especially interests economists. Willingness to collaborate is often tested in what are known as "social dilemmas," where the choice is between making a decision that benefits the group but is costly for the one person, or one that helps only oneself. The classical theory of Homo economicus says that in every situation, people will choose what maximises their own benefit, even if that does not contribute to everyone's best interests.

In the study by the Linköping researchers, conducted along with colleagues from the United States and Austria, 2,500 people in the three countries were asked to choose between keeping a given sum of money for themselves, or split a greater sum total among a group of four people, in which they themselves were included.

Half of the test subjects in the randomised study decided under pressure. The others were made to wait before they were allowed to respond. The study shows no difference between those who made decisions under pressure and those who were made to wait. The Linköping researchers' conclusion is that it is not true that quick, intuitively grounded decisions promote cooperation.

The study also shows that the results from the earlier study can be explained through errors in the statistical analysis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Linköping University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gustav Tinghög, David Andersson, Caroline Bonn, Harald Böttiger, Camilla Josephson, Gustaf Lundgren, Daniel Västfjäll, Michael Kirchler, Magnus Johannesson. Intuition and cooperation reconsidered. Nature, 2013; 498 (7452): E1 DOI: 10.1038/nature12194

Cite This Page:

Linköping University. "New study rebuts increase in willingness to cooperate from intuitive thinking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605133706.htm>.
Linköping University. (2013, June 5). New study rebuts increase in willingness to cooperate from intuitive thinking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605133706.htm
Linköping University. "New study rebuts increase in willingness to cooperate from intuitive thinking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605133706.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins