ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (8): 1468-1477.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.01468

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Intuition-based prosociality: Thinking based on social heuristics hypothesis

SHI Rong, LIU Chang()   

  1. School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China.
  • Received:2018-10-08 Online:2019-07-26 Published:2019-06-25
  • Contact: LIU Chang


Prosociality is a central feature of human beings and a major focus of research across the natural and social sciences. Most theoretical models of prosociality share a common assumption: Humans are instinctively selfish, and prosocial behaviors require exerting reflective control over these basic instincts. However, the intuitive model of prosociality has recently contradicted this view. This model assumes that the understanding of prosociality should be revised to include the possibility that, in many cases, prosocial behavior -- instead of requiring active control over our impulses -- represents an impulse of its own. The intuitive model of prosociality is supported by at least three markers: (1) behavioral signs of automaticity, (2) neural signatures of reward seeking, and (3) early development. Furthermore, based on social heuristics hypothesis, we explained human’s intuitive prosociality and analyzed the context and the individual factors which affect human’s intuitive prosocial behavior. These observations provided a new perspective for researchers and challenged them to reconsider the roots of prosociality.

Key words: Intuition, prosocial behavior, intuitive model of prosociality, social heuristics hypothesis

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