Dr. Eliran Halali
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Between cognitive-control and social preferences
In many real-life social exchange situations, the selfish motive to maximize own gains conflicts with our social preferences such as fairness and reciprocity. In my work I examined the role of cognitive-control in fairness and reciprocal behavior. Specifically, I examined whether behaving according to fairness and reciprocity norms is a deliberate act that requires self-control resources, or whether it is evoked automatically, without requiring such resources. By measuring response latencies in some experiments and manipulating cognitive-control resource depletion in others, I found converging evidence that fairness and reciprocity preferences are automatically driven. Interestingly, my work also demonstrated an exceptional rare social bright side for self-control failure. People are automatically driven to reward other cooperative behaviors, even when it incurs costs and provides no present or future material rewards. Other evidence, however, suggest that it might be all about the self. Specifically, in some situations, the automatic fair behavior at least partially reflects concern about self-interest gain.