Commentary: Fairness is intuitive

Kristian Ove Myrseth, Conny Wollbrant

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Cappelen et al. (2015) show that ‘fair’ decisions are quicker than are ‘selfish’ decisions. On this basis, they infer that fairness is ‘intuitive’. We argue that they commit a reverse inference fallacy. One might argue reasonably that, ceteris paribus,intuitive response is faster than deliberative decision—but one may not infer that the faster decision is the more intuitive. We note that fair decisions in their study took on average 38.4 seconds, whereas selfish decisions took 48.5. The decisions were mostly slow, and they do not allow us to discriminate a reflexive response from a consciously controlled decision.
Original languageEnglish
Article number00654
Number of pages2
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Early online date19 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2016


  • Fairness
  • Self-control
  • Intuition


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