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Power and fairness in a generalized ultimatum game.

Ciampaglia GL, Lozano S, Helbing D - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: In this work, we set out to understand the role of bargaining power in the stylized environment of a Generalized Ultimatum Game (GUG).We find that other-regarding preferences, as measured by the amount of money donated by participants, do not change with the amount of power, but power changes the offers and acceptance rates systematically.Notably, unusually high acceptance rates for lower offers were observed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Power is the ability to influence others towards the attainment of specific goals, and it is a fundamental force that shapes behavior at all levels of human existence. Several theories on the nature of power in social life exist, especially in the context of social influence. Yet, in bargaining situations, surprisingly little is known about its role in shaping social preferences. Such preferences are considered to be the main explanation for observed behavior in a wide range of experimental settings. In this work, we set out to understand the role of bargaining power in the stylized environment of a Generalized Ultimatum Game (GUG). We modify the payoff structure of the standard Ultimatum Game (UG) to investigate three situations: two in which the power balance is either against the proposer or against the responder, and a balanced situation. We find that other-regarding preferences, as measured by the amount of money donated by participants, do not change with the amount of power, but power changes the offers and acceptance rates systematically. Notably, unusually high acceptance rates for lower offers were observed. This finding suggests that social preferences may be invariant to the balance of power and confirms that the role of power on human behavior deserves more attention.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Rational choice predictions for self- and fairness-oriented preferences.For each panel, the proposal and the alternative workload in case of rejection are shown. The values displayed multiplied by 30 correspond to the actual number of arithmetic calculations to be done according to Table 1. Colors represent the orientation of responders in terms of their rational preferences (i.e. self- or fairness-oriented).
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pone-0099039-g001: Rational choice predictions for self- and fairness-oriented preferences.For each panel, the proposal and the alternative workload in case of rejection are shown. The values displayed multiplied by 30 correspond to the actual number of arithmetic calculations to be done according to Table 1. Colors represent the orientation of responders in terms of their rational preferences (i.e. self- or fairness-oriented).

Mentions: We consider two types of players: fairness-oriented and self-oriented. The payoffs were chosen such that the different treatments would be able to differentiate between self- and fairness-oriented preferences. Figure 1 graphically represents responders' expected preferences depending on their respective orientation (i.e. self- or fairness-oriented). From a self-oriented perspective, responders should always reject if this would reduce the number of calculations to be done. Thus, in a bargain involving self-oriented rational responders, they should reject all offers in the weak proposer and accept all offers in the weak responder treatment, while in the balanced treatment the response would depend on the concrete offer. Fairness-oriented responders would instead try to maximize fairness, i.e. minimize the difference in the number of calculations to be performed by both players.


Power and fairness in a generalized ultimatum game.

Ciampaglia GL, Lozano S, Helbing D - PLoS ONE (2014)

Rational choice predictions for self- and fairness-oriented preferences.For each panel, the proposal and the alternative workload in case of rejection are shown. The values displayed multiplied by 30 correspond to the actual number of arithmetic calculations to be done according to Table 1. Colors represent the orientation of responders in terms of their rational preferences (i.e. self- or fairness-oriented).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4048244&req=5

pone-0099039-g001: Rational choice predictions for self- and fairness-oriented preferences.For each panel, the proposal and the alternative workload in case of rejection are shown. The values displayed multiplied by 30 correspond to the actual number of arithmetic calculations to be done according to Table 1. Colors represent the orientation of responders in terms of their rational preferences (i.e. self- or fairness-oriented).
Mentions: We consider two types of players: fairness-oriented and self-oriented. The payoffs were chosen such that the different treatments would be able to differentiate between self- and fairness-oriented preferences. Figure 1 graphically represents responders' expected preferences depending on their respective orientation (i.e. self- or fairness-oriented). From a self-oriented perspective, responders should always reject if this would reduce the number of calculations to be done. Thus, in a bargain involving self-oriented rational responders, they should reject all offers in the weak proposer and accept all offers in the weak responder treatment, while in the balanced treatment the response would depend on the concrete offer. Fairness-oriented responders would instead try to maximize fairness, i.e. minimize the difference in the number of calculations to be performed by both players.

Bottom Line: In this work, we set out to understand the role of bargaining power in the stylized environment of a Generalized Ultimatum Game (GUG).We find that other-regarding preferences, as measured by the amount of money donated by participants, do not change with the amount of power, but power changes the offers and acceptance rates systematically.Notably, unusually high acceptance rates for lower offers were observed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Power is the ability to influence others towards the attainment of specific goals, and it is a fundamental force that shapes behavior at all levels of human existence. Several theories on the nature of power in social life exist, especially in the context of social influence. Yet, in bargaining situations, surprisingly little is known about its role in shaping social preferences. Such preferences are considered to be the main explanation for observed behavior in a wide range of experimental settings. In this work, we set out to understand the role of bargaining power in the stylized environment of a Generalized Ultimatum Game (GUG). We modify the payoff structure of the standard Ultimatum Game (UG) to investigate three situations: two in which the power balance is either against the proposer or against the responder, and a balanced situation. We find that other-regarding preferences, as measured by the amount of money donated by participants, do not change with the amount of power, but power changes the offers and acceptance rates systematically. Notably, unusually high acceptance rates for lower offers were observed. This finding suggests that social preferences may be invariant to the balance of power and confirms that the role of power on human behavior deserves more attention.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus