Cognitive load and cooperation

Felix Døssing, Marco Piovesan, Erik Wengström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


We study the effect of intuitive and reflective processes on cooperation using cognitive load. Compared with time constraint, which has been used in the previous literature, cognitive load is a more direct way to block reflective processes, and thus a more suitable way to study the link between intuition and cooperation. Using a repeated public goods game, we study the effect of different levels of cognitive load on contributions. We show that a higher cognitive load increases the initial level of cooperation. In particular, subjects are significantly less likely to fully free ride under high cognitive load.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalReview of Behavioral Economics
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)69-81
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • Cognitive load
  • Cooperation
  • Experiment
  • Public goods


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