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Serotonin and social norms: tryptophan depletion impairs social comparison and leads to resource depletion in a multiplayer harvesting game.

Bilderbeck AC, Brown GD, Read J, Woolrich M, Cowen PJ, Behrens TE, Rogers RD - Psychol Sci (2014)

Bottom Line: How do people sustain resources for the benefit of individuals and communities and avoid the tragedy of the commons, in which shared resources become exhausted?Healthy adults, alongside social partners, completed a multiplayer resource-dilemma game in which they repeatedly harvested from a partially replenishable monetary resource.Dietary tryptophan depletion, leading to reduced serotonin activity, was associated with aggressive harvesting strategies and disrupted use of the social norms given by distributions of other players' harvests.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Adjustments in harvests from one harvesting opportunity to the next (ΔHarvest) as a function of the rank of participants’ last harvest within the beta distributions of all four players’ last harvests (i.e., their position within the social norms; Rankn–1). Results are shown separately for each of the 16 participants in each treatment group. Lines represent best-fitting third-order polynomials; the “E-R” notation identifies participants who exhausted the resource.
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fig4-0956797614527830: Adjustments in harvests from one harvesting opportunity to the next (ΔHarvest) as a function of the rank of participants’ last harvest within the beta distributions of all four players’ last harvests (i.e., their position within the social norms; Rankn–1). Results are shown separately for each of the 16 participants in each treatment group. Lines represent best-fitting third-order polynomials; the “E-R” notation identifies participants who exhausted the resource.

Mentions: We found exactly this predicted pattern. Figure 4 shows the adjustment in participants’ harvests from one harvesting opportunity to the next, ΔHarvest, as a function of the rank of their last harvest, separately for each participant. Our prediction was clearly confirmed in the behavior of the majority of the T+ participants. Moreover, Model 2 showed that the relationship between the two factors tended to be markedly nonlinear, as indicated by significant regression coefficients for the three elements of a polynomial (Table 2), β = −6.56 (SE = 3.33), β = 18.28 (SE = 7.35), β = −13.11 (SE = 4.83), all ps < .05. The T+ participants made the largest upward and downward adjustments to their harvests when the value of their last harvest fell toward the bottom or top of the distributions of other players’ harvests, respectively. By comparison, the T– participants’ harvests tended to rank toward the top of these distributions and showed only inconsistent use of the social norms in adjusting subsequent harvests (Table 2), β = 10.14 (SE = 4.66), β = −23.73 (SE = 10.39), β = 15.66 (SE = 6.68), all ps < .03.


Serotonin and social norms: tryptophan depletion impairs social comparison and leads to resource depletion in a multiplayer harvesting game.

Bilderbeck AC, Brown GD, Read J, Woolrich M, Cowen PJ, Behrens TE, Rogers RD - Psychol Sci (2014)

Adjustments in harvests from one harvesting opportunity to the next (ΔHarvest) as a function of the rank of participants’ last harvest within the beta distributions of all four players’ last harvests (i.e., their position within the social norms; Rankn–1). Results are shown separately for each of the 16 participants in each treatment group. Lines represent best-fitting third-order polynomials; the “E-R” notation identifies participants who exhausted the resource.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2 - License 3
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4230382&req=5

fig4-0956797614527830: Adjustments in harvests from one harvesting opportunity to the next (ΔHarvest) as a function of the rank of participants’ last harvest within the beta distributions of all four players’ last harvests (i.e., their position within the social norms; Rankn–1). Results are shown separately for each of the 16 participants in each treatment group. Lines represent best-fitting third-order polynomials; the “E-R” notation identifies participants who exhausted the resource.
Mentions: We found exactly this predicted pattern. Figure 4 shows the adjustment in participants’ harvests from one harvesting opportunity to the next, ΔHarvest, as a function of the rank of their last harvest, separately for each participant. Our prediction was clearly confirmed in the behavior of the majority of the T+ participants. Moreover, Model 2 showed that the relationship between the two factors tended to be markedly nonlinear, as indicated by significant regression coefficients for the three elements of a polynomial (Table 2), β = −6.56 (SE = 3.33), β = 18.28 (SE = 7.35), β = −13.11 (SE = 4.83), all ps < .05. The T+ participants made the largest upward and downward adjustments to their harvests when the value of their last harvest fell toward the bottom or top of the distributions of other players’ harvests, respectively. By comparison, the T– participants’ harvests tended to rank toward the top of these distributions and showed only inconsistent use of the social norms in adjusting subsequent harvests (Table 2), β = 10.14 (SE = 4.66), β = −23.73 (SE = 10.39), β = 15.66 (SE = 6.68), all ps < .03.

Bottom Line: How do people sustain resources for the benefit of individuals and communities and avoid the tragedy of the commons, in which shared resources become exhausted?Healthy adults, alongside social partners, completed a multiplayer resource-dilemma game in which they repeatedly harvested from a partially replenishable monetary resource.Dietary tryptophan depletion, leading to reduced serotonin activity, was associated with aggressive harvesting strategies and disrupted use of the social norms given by distributions of other players' harvests.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus