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Uncertainty about the impact of social decisions increases prosocial behavior

Abstract:

Uncertainty about how our choices will affect others infuses social life. Past research suggests uncertainty has a negative effect on prosocial behaviour1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 by enabling people to adopt self-serving narratives about their actions1,13. We show that uncertainty does not always promote selfishness. We introduce a distinction between two types of uncertainty that have opposite effects on prosocial behaviour. Previous work focused on outcome uncertainty (uncertainty about whe...

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Publication status:
Published
Peer review status:
Peer reviewed
Version:
Accepted manuscript

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Publisher copy:
10.1038/s41562-018-0372-x

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Institution:
University of Oxford
Division:
MSD
Department:
Experimental Psychology
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Institution:
University of Oxford
Division:
MSD
Department:
Experimental Psychology
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Institution:
University of Oxford
Division:
Humanities Division
Department:
Philosophy Faculty
More by this author
Institution:
University of Oxford
Division:
Humanities Division
Department:
Philosophy Faculty
Oxford college:
St Cross College
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Oxford Martin School More from this funder
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group Publisher's website
Journal:
Nature Human Behaviour Journal website
Volume:
2
Pages:
573-580
Publication date:
2018-07-09
Acceptance date:
2018-06-01
DOI:
ISSN:
2397-3374
Pubs id:
pubs:856331
URN:
uri:78069469-c965-4d5e-abcb-6818037221fd
UUID:
uuid:78069469-c965-4d5e-abcb-6818037221fd
Local pid:
pubs:856331

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