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Emotional reactions of peers influence decisions about fairness in adolescence.

Klapwijk ET, Peters S, Vermeiren RR, Lelieveld GJ - Front Hum Neurosci (2013)

Bottom Line: We therefore examined the effects of three different emotional responses (anger, disappointment, happiness) on decisions about fairness in a sample of 156 adolescents aged 12-17 years.Adolescents reacted with more generous offers after disappointed reactions compared to angry and happy reactions.Furthermore, we found preliminary evidence for developmental differences over adolescence, since older adolescents differentiated more between the three emotions than younger adolescents.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Curium - Leiden University Medical Centre Leiden, Netherlands ; Institute of Psychology, Leiden University Leiden, Netherlands ; Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden University Leiden, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
During adolescence, peers take on increasing importance, while social skills are still developing. However, how emotions of peers influence social decisions during that age period is insufficiently known. We therefore examined the effects of three different emotional responses (anger, disappointment, happiness) on decisions about fairness in a sample of 156 adolescents aged 12-17 years. Participants received written emotional responses from peers in a version of the Dictator Game to a previous unfair offer. Adolescents reacted with more generous offers after disappointed reactions compared to angry and happy reactions. Furthermore, we found preliminary evidence for developmental differences over adolescence, since older adolescents differentiated more between the three emotions than younger adolescents. In addition, individual differences in social value orientation played a role in decisions after happy reactions of peers to a previous unfair offer, such that participants with a "proself" orientation made more unfair offers to happy peers than "prosocial" participants. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that adolescents take emotions of peers into account when making social decisions, while individual differences in social value orientation affect these decisions, and age seems to influence the nature of the reaction.

No MeSH data available.


Percentage of unfair offers for the three emotions, separate for three age groups. Single asterisk (*) indicates p < 0.05; double asterisk (**) indicates p < 0.01.
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Figure 1: Percentage of unfair offers for the three emotions, separate for three age groups. Single asterisk (*) indicates p < 0.05; double asterisk (**) indicates p < 0.01.

Mentions: Collapsed over all emotions, no correlation was found between the total amount of unfair distributions and age (r = 0.10, p = 0.21). We also checked for effects of age for the three emotions separately, by performing a repeated-measures ANOVA with emotion (anger vs. disappointment vs. happiness) as a within-subjects variable and percentage of unfair choices as the dependent variable, with age as a covariate. No effects of age were found, F(2,308) = 1.34, p = 0.26, η2 = 0.01. We also divided our sample in three similar sized age groups: young adolescents (M = 13.75 years, SD = 0.65 years), mid adolescents (M = 15.29 years, SD = 0.32 years), and late adolescents (M = 16.49 years, SD = 0.40 years). See Table 1 for details about the age groups. There was no significant difference between the age groups for sex, Χ2 = 2.26, p = 0.32, SVO, Χ2 = 0.07, p = 0.97, and Raven scores, F(2,132) = 1.01, p = 0.37, η2 = 0.02. No significant interaction was found for the three emotions and age group, F(4,306) = 1.11, p = 0.34, η2 = 0.01 (see Figure 1). However, based on our expectations that younger adolescents would differentiate less between the different emotions than older adolescents, we looked at the interpersonal effects of emotions for each age group separately. We conducted a repeated-measures ANOVA with emotion (anger vs. disappointment vs. happiness) as a within-subjects variable and percentage of unfair choices as the dependent variable separately for each age group. We found no main effect of emotion in young adolescents, F(2,102) = 0.02, p = 0.92, η2 < 0.001, but we did find a trend for mid adolescents, F(2,104) = 3.22, p = 0.06, η2 = 0.06, and a significant effect for late adolescents, F(2,100) = 3.57, p = 0.05, η2 = 0.07. LSD post hoc tests indicated that for young adolescents none of the effects of the emotions differed from each other, that for mid adolescents, disappointment differed from anger (p = 0.001) and happiness (p = 0.04), and that for late adolescents, disappointment also differed from anger (p = 0.005) and happiness (p = 0.03). The effects of anger and happiness did not differ from each other in any age group (all ps > 0.05). Figure 1 depicts the means for each age group, and shows that with increasing age, adolescents seem the differentiate more between the three emotions. That is, the emotions seem to affect the adolescents differently with increasing age.


Emotional reactions of peers influence decisions about fairness in adolescence.

Klapwijk ET, Peters S, Vermeiren RR, Lelieveld GJ - Front Hum Neurosci (2013)

Percentage of unfair offers for the three emotions, separate for three age groups. Single asterisk (*) indicates p < 0.05; double asterisk (**) indicates p < 0.01.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3824368&req=5

Figure 1: Percentage of unfair offers for the three emotions, separate for three age groups. Single asterisk (*) indicates p < 0.05; double asterisk (**) indicates p < 0.01.
Mentions: Collapsed over all emotions, no correlation was found between the total amount of unfair distributions and age (r = 0.10, p = 0.21). We also checked for effects of age for the three emotions separately, by performing a repeated-measures ANOVA with emotion (anger vs. disappointment vs. happiness) as a within-subjects variable and percentage of unfair choices as the dependent variable, with age as a covariate. No effects of age were found, F(2,308) = 1.34, p = 0.26, η2 = 0.01. We also divided our sample in three similar sized age groups: young adolescents (M = 13.75 years, SD = 0.65 years), mid adolescents (M = 15.29 years, SD = 0.32 years), and late adolescents (M = 16.49 years, SD = 0.40 years). See Table 1 for details about the age groups. There was no significant difference between the age groups for sex, Χ2 = 2.26, p = 0.32, SVO, Χ2 = 0.07, p = 0.97, and Raven scores, F(2,132) = 1.01, p = 0.37, η2 = 0.02. No significant interaction was found for the three emotions and age group, F(4,306) = 1.11, p = 0.34, η2 = 0.01 (see Figure 1). However, based on our expectations that younger adolescents would differentiate less between the different emotions than older adolescents, we looked at the interpersonal effects of emotions for each age group separately. We conducted a repeated-measures ANOVA with emotion (anger vs. disappointment vs. happiness) as a within-subjects variable and percentage of unfair choices as the dependent variable separately for each age group. We found no main effect of emotion in young adolescents, F(2,102) = 0.02, p = 0.92, η2 < 0.001, but we did find a trend for mid adolescents, F(2,104) = 3.22, p = 0.06, η2 = 0.06, and a significant effect for late adolescents, F(2,100) = 3.57, p = 0.05, η2 = 0.07. LSD post hoc tests indicated that for young adolescents none of the effects of the emotions differed from each other, that for mid adolescents, disappointment differed from anger (p = 0.001) and happiness (p = 0.04), and that for late adolescents, disappointment also differed from anger (p = 0.005) and happiness (p = 0.03). The effects of anger and happiness did not differ from each other in any age group (all ps > 0.05). Figure 1 depicts the means for each age group, and shows that with increasing age, adolescents seem the differentiate more between the three emotions. That is, the emotions seem to affect the adolescents differently with increasing age.

Bottom Line: We therefore examined the effects of three different emotional responses (anger, disappointment, happiness) on decisions about fairness in a sample of 156 adolescents aged 12-17 years.Adolescents reacted with more generous offers after disappointed reactions compared to angry and happy reactions.Furthermore, we found preliminary evidence for developmental differences over adolescence, since older adolescents differentiated more between the three emotions than younger adolescents.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Curium - Leiden University Medical Centre Leiden, Netherlands ; Institute of Psychology, Leiden University Leiden, Netherlands ; Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden University Leiden, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
During adolescence, peers take on increasing importance, while social skills are still developing. However, how emotions of peers influence social decisions during that age period is insufficiently known. We therefore examined the effects of three different emotional responses (anger, disappointment, happiness) on decisions about fairness in a sample of 156 adolescents aged 12-17 years. Participants received written emotional responses from peers in a version of the Dictator Game to a previous unfair offer. Adolescents reacted with more generous offers after disappointed reactions compared to angry and happy reactions. Furthermore, we found preliminary evidence for developmental differences over adolescence, since older adolescents differentiated more between the three emotions than younger adolescents. In addition, individual differences in social value orientation played a role in decisions after happy reactions of peers to a previous unfair offer, such that participants with a "proself" orientation made more unfair offers to happy peers than "prosocial" participants. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that adolescents take emotions of peers into account when making social decisions, while individual differences in social value orientation affect these decisions, and age seems to influence the nature of the reaction.

No MeSH data available.