Limits...
On the relationship between emotional state and abnormal unfairness sensitivity in alcohol dependence.

Brevers D, Noël X, Hanak C, Verbanck P, Kornreich C - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: Heightened emotional reactivity may have driven AD to punish the proposer rather than acting as a rational economic agent.An implication of present findings is that AD might have difficult to cope with unfair situations triggered by social interactions.Future studies are needed in order to examine whether-emotional and behavioral-reactivity to unfairness during the UG could impact alcohol consumption and relapse in AD.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California , Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Psychological Medicine Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Université Libre de Bruxelles , Brussels, Belgium.

ABSTRACT
Recent empirical findings suggest that alcohol dependence is characterized by heightened sensitivity to unfairness during social transactions. The present study went a step further and aimed to ascertain whether this abnormal level of sensitivity to unfairness is underlined by an increased emotional reactivity. Twenty-six recently abstinent alcohol-dependent (AD) individuals and 32 controls performed an ultimatum game (UG), in which participants had to respond to take-it-or-leave-it offers, ranging from fair to unfair and made by a fictive proposer. Emotional state was recorded during UG offers presentation and was indexed by the amplitude of skin conductance response (SCR). Results showed that AD decided to reject unfair offers more frequently than their controls, confirming previous data. The proportion of rejected unfair UG offers was correlated with SCR, in the AD but not in the control group. This finding suggests that deciding to accept or reject unfair UG offers is influenced by arousal-affective activity in AD, but not in controls. Heightened emotional reactivity may have driven AD to punish the proposer rather than acting as a rational economic agent. An implication of present findings is that AD might have difficult to cope with unfair situations triggered by social interactions. Future studies are needed in order to examine whether-emotional and behavioral-reactivity to unfairness during the UG could impact alcohol consumption and relapse in AD.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Timeline for a single trial of the ultimatum game. The original screens were in French.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4496552&req=5

Figure 1: Timeline for a single trial of the ultimatum game. The original screens were in French.

Mentions: Participants played as responders in a series of 54 single round trials of the UG via computer interface. Before the game started, participants were given detailed verbal explanations and confirmed verbally that they understood the game. No real monetary amount was awarded to the participants. At the beginning of each trial, a white-colored, cross-shaped fixation point was presented for 8000 ms in order to allow autonomic activity from the previous trial to recover to baseline. Next, they saw the amount of the stake and the amount proposed by the partner for 10000 ms (see Figure 1). During this time, a picture of the proposer’s face was displayed in the upper right of the computer screen (see Figure 1). Then, a “response cue” was displayed and participants indicated whether they accepted or reject the offer by pressing one of two buttons (labeled “accept” or “reject”) on a button box.


On the relationship between emotional state and abnormal unfairness sensitivity in alcohol dependence.

Brevers D, Noël X, Hanak C, Verbanck P, Kornreich C - Front Psychol (2015)

Timeline for a single trial of the ultimatum game. The original screens were in French.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4496552&req=5

Figure 1: Timeline for a single trial of the ultimatum game. The original screens were in French.
Mentions: Participants played as responders in a series of 54 single round trials of the UG via computer interface. Before the game started, participants were given detailed verbal explanations and confirmed verbally that they understood the game. No real monetary amount was awarded to the participants. At the beginning of each trial, a white-colored, cross-shaped fixation point was presented for 8000 ms in order to allow autonomic activity from the previous trial to recover to baseline. Next, they saw the amount of the stake and the amount proposed by the partner for 10000 ms (see Figure 1). During this time, a picture of the proposer’s face was displayed in the upper right of the computer screen (see Figure 1). Then, a “response cue” was displayed and participants indicated whether they accepted or reject the offer by pressing one of two buttons (labeled “accept” or “reject”) on a button box.

Bottom Line: Heightened emotional reactivity may have driven AD to punish the proposer rather than acting as a rational economic agent.An implication of present findings is that AD might have difficult to cope with unfair situations triggered by social interactions.Future studies are needed in order to examine whether-emotional and behavioral-reactivity to unfairness during the UG could impact alcohol consumption and relapse in AD.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California , Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Psychological Medicine Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Université Libre de Bruxelles , Brussels, Belgium.

ABSTRACT
Recent empirical findings suggest that alcohol dependence is characterized by heightened sensitivity to unfairness during social transactions. The present study went a step further and aimed to ascertain whether this abnormal level of sensitivity to unfairness is underlined by an increased emotional reactivity. Twenty-six recently abstinent alcohol-dependent (AD) individuals and 32 controls performed an ultimatum game (UG), in which participants had to respond to take-it-or-leave-it offers, ranging from fair to unfair and made by a fictive proposer. Emotional state was recorded during UG offers presentation and was indexed by the amplitude of skin conductance response (SCR). Results showed that AD decided to reject unfair offers more frequently than their controls, confirming previous data. The proportion of rejected unfair UG offers was correlated with SCR, in the AD but not in the control group. This finding suggests that deciding to accept or reject unfair UG offers is influenced by arousal-affective activity in AD, but not in controls. Heightened emotional reactivity may have driven AD to punish the proposer rather than acting as a rational economic agent. An implication of present findings is that AD might have difficult to cope with unfair situations triggered by social interactions. Future studies are needed in order to examine whether-emotional and behavioral-reactivity to unfairness during the UG could impact alcohol consumption and relapse in AD.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus