Intuition and cooperation reconsidered

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Arising from D. G. Rand, J. D. Greene & M. A. Nowak Nature 489, 427–430 (2012)

Rand et al.1 reported increased cooperation in social dilemmas after forcing individuals to decide quickly1. Time pressure was used to induce intuitive decisions, and they concluded that intuition promotes cooperation. We test the robustness of this finding in a series of five experiments involving about 2,500 subjects in three countries. None of the experiments confirms the Rand et al.1 finding, indicating that their result was an artefact of excluding the about 50% of subjects who failed to respond on time.

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Figure 1: Time pressure does not increase cooperation in social dilemmas.


  1. 1

    Rand, D. G., Greene, J. D. & Nowak, M. A. Spontaneous giving and calculated greed. Nature 489, 427–430 (2012)

  2. 2

    Camerer, C. F. Behavioral Game Theory: Experiments in Strategic Interaction (Princeton Univ. Press, 2003)

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Author information

G.T. and M.J. designed research; all authors performed research; D.A. analysed data; G.T., M.K. and M.J. wrote the paper.

Correspondence to Magnus Johannesson.

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Tinghög, G., Andersson, D., Bonn, C. et al. Intuition and cooperation reconsidered. Nature 498, E1–E2 (2013) doi:10.1038/nature12194

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