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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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Donations by inferred orientation and role.
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pone-0099039-g005: Donations by inferred orientation and role.

Mentions: Applying this procedure on the experimental data resulted in 85 participants matching fairness-oriented preferences, 13 matching selfish-oriented preferences, 30 matching multiple classes, and 58 matching none of the classes. In particular, we found that 31.2% of the games were consistent with both players being fairness-oriented and a correct assumption of the proposer. On the other hand, 28% of the bargains did not match any of the predictions of the rational model (i.e., neither self- nor fairness-oriented). It is interesting to compare the donation data for both types of inferred other-regarding preferences. Figure 5 shows such a comparison, further broken down by the role (proposer or responder) of participants.


Power and fairness in a generalized ultimatum game.

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

Donations by inferred orientation and role.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0099039-g005: Donations by inferred orientation and role.
Mentions: Applying this procedure on the experimental data resulted in 85 participants matching fairness-oriented preferences, 13 matching selfish-oriented preferences, 30 matching multiple classes, and 58 matching none of the classes. In particular, we found that 31.2% of the games were consistent with both players being fairness-oriented and a correct assumption of the proposer. On the other hand, 28% of the bargains did not match any of the predictions of the rational model (i.e., neither self- nor fairness-oriented). It is interesting to compare the donation data for both types of inferred other-regarding preferences. Figure 5 shows such a comparison, further broken down by the role (proposer or responder) of participants.

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