The Prosociality of Intuitive Decisions Depends on the Status Quo

Aufsätze referiert extern - Web of Science 2018

Manja Gärtner

In: Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics 74 (2018), S. 127-138


Previous research came to contradictory conclusion about the prosocial nature of intuitive decisions, as compared to deliberate decisions. This paper proposes the prosociality of the status quo allocation as a determinant of the prosociality of intuitive decisions. I present results from two experiments (N = 1,649) that manipulate time pressure and elicit response times in a binary dictator game. One of the choices is prosocial while the other is pro-self. The status quo option is varied to be equal to the prosocial allocation in one treatment and the selfish allocation in a second treatment. In a third treatment, there is no status quo allocation. Time pressure is found to increase selfishness in treatments without a status quo and has no effect on choices in treatments with a status quo. However, the status quo systematically affects response times. Prosocial choices are made significantly faster than selfish choices under a prosocial status quo and selfish choices are made significantly faster than prosocial choices under a selfish status quo.

Manja Gärtner

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin in der Abteilung Wettbewerb und Verbraucher

JEL-Classification: C91;D03;D63
Keywords: Social preferences, Intuition, Response times, Status quo, Dictator game