The dependence of human cognitive and motivational processes on institutional systems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


How do institutional systems affect behavior? I suggest that these systems do not simply affect behavior via incentives or habits, but have an important impact on the cognitive and motivational processes that are vital for social coordination and cooperation. More specifically, I argue that institutional systems affect overarching goals that “set the mind” and heavily influence what people pay attention to and what they ignore, what information they are sensitive to, what they like and dislike, expect from others, and call success or failure. I describe these links between institutional systems and overarching goals in some detail and argue that, without understanding these influences, analyses of institutions would be seriously incomplete.

The Dependence of Human Cognitive and Motivational Processes on Institutional Systems | Request PDF. Available from: [accessed Jan 18 2018].
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial dilemmas, institutions and the evolution of cooperation
EditorsB. Jann, W. Przepiorka
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherDe Gruyter
ISBN (Electronic)9783110472974
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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