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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 based on the proposer preference (root), proposer belief (intermediate nodes), and responder preference (leaves).In the intermediate nodes, the triplets indicate the expected proposal in each treatment (divided by 30). In the leaves, the expected outcomes (divided by 30) after the responder decision are shown.
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pone-0099039-g002: Rational choice predictions based on the proposer preference (root), proposer belief (intermediate nodes), and responder preference (leaves).In the intermediate nodes, the triplets indicate the expected proposal in each treatment (divided by 30). In the leaves, the expected outcomes (divided by 30) after the responder decision are shown.

Mentions: Taking all this into account, we derived the expected behaviors of both players based on their respective preferences, i.e. assuming that a player is either self-oriented or fairness-oriented and the beliefs of the proposer concerning the preferences of the other player. Figure 2 shows the predictions of the model in form of a decision tree. Each level of branching represents the choice of one of the above variables. We start at the root node with the preference of the proposer; the intermediate nodes stand for the belief of the proposer regarding the responder's orientation (‘ASSUMPTION’), which determines the rational proposal. Finally, the branching leading to the leaves (‘ACTUAL’) represents the two possible beliefs of the responder and determines the expected outcome of the bargain.


Power and fairness in a generalized ultimatum game.

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

Rational choice predictions based on the proposer preference (root), proposer belief (intermediate nodes), and responder preference (leaves).In the intermediate nodes, the triplets indicate the expected proposal in each treatment (divided by 30). In the leaves, the expected outcomes (divided by 30) after the responder decision are shown.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0099039-g002: Rational choice predictions based on the proposer preference (root), proposer belief (intermediate nodes), and responder preference (leaves).In the intermediate nodes, the triplets indicate the expected proposal in each treatment (divided by 30). In the leaves, the expected outcomes (divided by 30) after the responder decision are shown.
Mentions: Taking all this into account, we derived the expected behaviors of both players based on their respective preferences, i.e. assuming that a player is either self-oriented or fairness-oriented and the beliefs of the proposer concerning the preferences of the other player. Figure 2 shows the predictions of the model in form of a decision tree. Each level of branching represents the choice of one of the above variables. We start at the root node with the preference of the proposer; the intermediate nodes stand for the belief of the proposer regarding the responder's orientation (‘ASSUMPTION’), which determines the rational proposal. Finally, the branching leading to the leaves (‘ACTUAL’) represents the two possible beliefs of the responder and determines the expected outcome of the bargain.

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