Social heuristics and social roles: Intuition favors altruism for women but not for men

Rand, David, Brescoll, Victoria, Everett, Jim A. C., Capraro, Valerio ORCID logoORCID: and Barcelo, Helene (2016) Social heuristics and social roles: Intuition favors altruism for women but not for men. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 145 (4) . pp. 389-396. ISSN 0096-3445 [Article] (doi:10.1037/xge0000154)

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Are humans intuitively altruistic, or does altruism require self-control? A theory of social heuristics, whereby intuitive responses favor typically successful behaviors, suggests that the answer may depend on who you are. In particular, evidence suggests that women are expected to behave altruistically, and are punished for failing to be altruistic, to a much greater extent than men. Thus, women (but not men) may internalize altruism as their intuitive response. Indeed, a meta-analysis of 13 new experiments and 9 experiments from other groups found that promoting intuition increased giving in a Dictator Game among women, but not among men (Study 1). Furthermore, this effect was shown to be moderated by explicit sex role identification (Study 2, N=1,831): the more women described themselves using traditionally masculine attributes (e.g., dominance, independence) relative to traditionally feminine attributes (e.g., warmth, tenderness), the more deliberation reduced their altruism. Our findings shed light on the connection between gender and altruism, and highlight the importance of social heuristics in human prosociality.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Economics
Item ID: 29066
Notes on copyright: ©American Psychological Association, 2016.
This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at:
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Depositing User: Valerio Capraro
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2020 13:33
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 22:01

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