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Think it through before making a choice? Processing mode does not influence social mindfulness

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Mischkowski, D., Thielmann, I., & Glöckner, A. (2018). Think it through before making a choice? Processing mode does not influence social mindfulness. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 74, 85-97. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2017.09.001.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-E8A2-A
Social mindfulness has recently been introduced as a type of prosocial behavior that emphasizes the importance of a skill to see other people's needs beyond the will to act accordingly. Correspondingly, social mindfulness has been proposed to involve processes of executive functioning and thus of deliberate thinking. In four studies, we tested the influence of processing mode on social mindfulness using different experimental manipulations (i.e., instructions to decide intuitively vs. deliberately, time pressure, and cognitive load). Contrary to the idea that social mindfulness requires conscious processing – and unlike recent findings suggesting intuitive cooperation – we consistently found negligible effect sizes for the influence of processing mode on social mindfulness. This was observable for both, prosocial and selfish individuals alike (i.e., those with high vs. low levels in Social Value Orientation or Honesty-Humility, respectively). Overall, the findings suggest that social mindfulness constitutes a general tendency to perceive and act prosocially in social situations that is unaffected by processing mode and, by implication, distinguishable from other types of prosocial behavior.