The social motivation hypothesis for prosocial behavior (with Marion Godman and Mikko Salmela)
Abstract Existing economic models of prosociality have been rather silent interms of proximate psychological mechanisms. We nevertheless identifythe psychologically most informed accounts and offer a criticaldiscussion of their hypotheses for the proximate psychologicalexplanations. Based on convergent evidence from several fields ofresearch we argue that there nevertheless is a more plausiblealternative proximate account available: the social motivationhypothesis. The hypothesis represents a more basic explanation of theappeal of prosocial behavior, which is in terms of anticipated socialrewards. We also argue in favour of our own social motivation hypothesis over Robert Sugden’s fellow -feeling account (due originallyto Adam Smith). We suggest that the social motivation not only standsas a proximate account in its own right; it also provides a plausiblescaffold for other more sophisticated motivations (e.g. fellow-feelings).We conclude by discussing some possible implications the socialmotivation hypothesis has on existing modelling practice.
Via Alessandro Cerboni