Gut instincts Increases Cooperation: Here's Why

Posted on August 25, 2016

Photo: flickr

Researchers have a long history of exploring what motivates people to cooperate – or not – and how to foster and encourage effective collaboration within and across groups. Psychological scientist David G. Rand (Yale University) recently took an in-depth look at some of the cognitive factors that influence our inclination to cooperate: intuition and deliberation.

Specifically, Rand wanted to test whether cooperation flourishes when we take more time to consider our options deliberately or when we make quick decisions based on gut instincts.

According to Noble Prize-winning psychological scientist Daniel Kahneman, decision making largely relies on competition between two major cognitive processes: a fast, intuitive process, and a slower more deliberative process. The advantage of the "fast" process is that it's automatic, effortless, and quick; the "slow" process takes more time and effort but leads to more rational, calculated decisions.

Rand hypothesized that quick, intuitive thinking would favor short-term payoffs, which might require cooperation some of the time, while more deliberate mindsets would allow people to consistently maximize their own self-interest - ultimately reducing rates of cooperation.

He carried out a meta-analysis of 67 studies, and found that making decisions based on intuition significantly increased rates of cooperation, but only under circumstances where self-interest was always the best option. When people had time to hash out all the details in these situations, they were far less cooperative.

To read the full article, click on the link below.

Category(s):Workplace Issues

Source material from Psychological Science

Mental Health News