Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

The Beautiful Complexity of Human Prosociality: On the Interplay of Honesty-Humility, Intuition, and a Reward System

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Human prosociality is a fascinating and complex phenomenon. The present research takes this complexity into account by examining the interplay of three prominent factors that past research has shown to promote prosocial behavior. In two studies (total N = 1,799), we tested the impact of (a) a basic prosocial personality trait (the Honesty-Humility dimension from the HEXACO personality model), (b) intuitive decision making, and (c) the possibility of being rewarded (i.e., a reward system) in the emergence of prosocial behavior (i.e., dictator game giving). Replicating previous research, we found that (1) a reward system increased prosocial behavior and (2) Honesty-Humility was positively related to prosocial behavior. In addition, given that there was no reward system, we show that intuition (vs. a control condition) reduced prosocial behavior in individuals low in Honesty-Humility, whereas no effect was found for individuals high in Honesty-Humility. Implications for the understanding of prosocial behavior are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Sep 2020

    Research areas

  • HEXACO, Honesty-Humility, intuition, prosocial behavior, reward

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ID: 201129581