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Social mindfulness has recently been proposed as a type of prosocial behavior that emphasizes the importance of a skill to see other people`s needs beyond the will to act accordingly. Correspondingly, it has been proposed that social mindfulness should involve processes of executive functioning and thus of deliberate thinking. In three studies, we tested the influence of processing mode on social mindfulness, using different experimental manipulations (i.e., instructions to decide intuitively vs. deliberately, time pressure, and cognitive load). However, contrary to the idea that social mindfulness requires conscious processing – as well as to recent findings suggesting intuitive cooperation – we only found a negligible effect of processing mode on social mindfulness. By contrast, the results revealed a positive link between prosocial personality traits (Honesty-Humility and Social Value Orientation) and social mindfulness, irrespective of individuals’ processing mode. The findings hence imply the trait-like nature of social mindfulness, constituting a general pro-social preference.
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