Marwa El Zein, Bahador Bahrami and Ralph Hertwig
Accepted in Nature Human Behaviour
Abstract: Research investigating the motivation for making collective decisions has focused primarily on the improvement of accuracy in collective decisions and less on other possible motives. We argue that a strong but neglected motive for making collective decisions is minimizing the material and psychological burden of an individual’s responsibility. Making difficult decisions with others shields individuals from the consequences of negative outcomes by reducing regret, punishment, and stress. This approach offers a new perspective on the cognitive basis of motivations to join groups. It also has important implications for social issues such as criminal justice, where sanctioning requires assignment of individual responsibility.
The preprint will soon be available.