Evolutionary psychology research suggeststwo mechanisms for altruistic behaviors, which correspond to the exchange (i.e., focus one xchange history) and communal orientation (i.e., focus on others’ needs) observed inhuman relationships. The current study tested which factors affect individuals’ attention during altruistic decision making. A total of 159 participants (Mage = 19.94 years, SDage =2.14 years) were randomly assigned into the satiated and hungry group. Participants completed the dispositional exchange orientation scale and conducted a "fake" interactive computer task during which they could offer help to a partner. Information about exchange history and partner’s need strength was presentedon the screen when they were making the help decision. Eye-tracking data revealed that attention was shifted toward information about exchange history in the hungry group for people high in dispositional exchange orientation. Results suggest that attention during altruistic decision making is affected by the interaction between situational and dispositional factors.
|Published - Jul 2016