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Social distance and anonymity modulate fairness consideration: An ERP study.

Yu R, Hu P, Zhang P - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: At the behavior level, we found that acceptance rate and reaction time can be substantially modified by social distance and anonymity.Feedback-related negativity, an ERP component associated with conflict between cognitive and emotion motives, was more negative in response to unfairness than fairness from strangers; however, it showed an opposite trend for unfair offers provided by friends, suggesting that the influence of social distance on fairness perception is relatively fast.These results suggest that unfairness is evaluated in a fast conflict detection stage and a slower stage that integrates more complex social contextual factors such as anonymity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychology and Center for Studies of Psychological Application, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China.

ABSTRACT
Previous research indicated that fairness consideration can be influenced by social distance. However, it is not clear whether social distance and anonymity have an interactive impact on fairness evaluation during asset distribution and whether these processes can be documented in brain activity. Using a modified ultimatum game combined with measures of event related potential (ERP), we examined how social distance and anonymity modulate brain response to inequality. At the behavior level, we found that acceptance rate and reaction time can be substantially modified by social distance and anonymity. Feedback-related negativity, an ERP component associated with conflict between cognitive and emotion motives, was more negative in response to unfairness than fairness from strangers; however, it showed an opposite trend for unfair offers provided by friends, suggesting that the influence of social distance on fairness perception is relatively fast. The P300 in response to fair offers was more positive when the proposers made offers when uncertain about partner identity than when certain about partner identity. These results suggest that unfairness is evaluated in a fast conflict detection stage and a slower stage that integrates more complex social contextual factors such as anonymity.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Experimental task design.Participants played the Ultimatum game with friends and strangers. At the beginning of each trial, the name and the picture of the proposer appeared first in the certainty about identity condition. In the uncertainty about identity condition, participants were only informed whether the proposer is one of their friends or one of the strangers. A fair or unfair monetary offer was then presented. After accepting or rejecting, the corresponding outcome was shown.
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f1: Experimental task design.Participants played the Ultimatum game with friends and strangers. At the beginning of each trial, the name and the picture of the proposer appeared first in the certainty about identity condition. In the uncertainty about identity condition, participants were only informed whether the proposer is one of their friends or one of the strangers. A fair or unfair monetary offer was then presented. After accepting or rejecting, the corresponding outcome was shown.

Mentions: Taking the above studies together, we focused on the FRN and the P300 responses to offers in the ultimatum game (Fig. 1). We predicted that the FRN would be modulated by the social distance and the degree of anonymity. Individuals extend their justice concern more to their friends than to strangers, making justice more important in the context of friendship than in interactions with strangers, and unfair offers from friends should lead to stronger social norm violation than unfair offers by strangers. But under anonymous conditions, with no social identification, the unfair offer should lead to weaker social norm violation than an unfair offer made in a certainty about identity condition. We expected this to be detected in the recipient’s brain activity at an early stage of evaluative processing, possibly indexed by the amplitudes of FRN. For the P300, we predicted that it would be more positive for fair offers than unfair offers. Because in anonymous conditions more attention and resources would need to be distributed in confirming the proposer’s identity, we predicted that P300 would be more positive in uncertainty about identity conditions than in certainty about identity conditions. Based on the research to date, it is not yet clear how P300 would be modulated by the manipulation of social distance.


Social distance and anonymity modulate fairness consideration: An ERP study.

Yu R, Hu P, Zhang P - Sci Rep (2015)

Experimental task design.Participants played the Ultimatum game with friends and strangers. At the beginning of each trial, the name and the picture of the proposer appeared first in the certainty about identity condition. In the uncertainty about identity condition, participants were only informed whether the proposer is one of their friends or one of the strangers. A fair or unfair monetary offer was then presented. After accepting or rejecting, the corresponding outcome was shown.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4544037&req=5

f1: Experimental task design.Participants played the Ultimatum game with friends and strangers. At the beginning of each trial, the name and the picture of the proposer appeared first in the certainty about identity condition. In the uncertainty about identity condition, participants were only informed whether the proposer is one of their friends or one of the strangers. A fair or unfair monetary offer was then presented. After accepting or rejecting, the corresponding outcome was shown.
Mentions: Taking the above studies together, we focused on the FRN and the P300 responses to offers in the ultimatum game (Fig. 1). We predicted that the FRN would be modulated by the social distance and the degree of anonymity. Individuals extend their justice concern more to their friends than to strangers, making justice more important in the context of friendship than in interactions with strangers, and unfair offers from friends should lead to stronger social norm violation than unfair offers by strangers. But under anonymous conditions, with no social identification, the unfair offer should lead to weaker social norm violation than an unfair offer made in a certainty about identity condition. We expected this to be detected in the recipient’s brain activity at an early stage of evaluative processing, possibly indexed by the amplitudes of FRN. For the P300, we predicted that it would be more positive for fair offers than unfair offers. Because in anonymous conditions more attention and resources would need to be distributed in confirming the proposer’s identity, we predicted that P300 would be more positive in uncertainty about identity conditions than in certainty about identity conditions. Based on the research to date, it is not yet clear how P300 would be modulated by the manipulation of social distance.

Bottom Line: At the behavior level, we found that acceptance rate and reaction time can be substantially modified by social distance and anonymity.Feedback-related negativity, an ERP component associated with conflict between cognitive and emotion motives, was more negative in response to unfairness than fairness from strangers; however, it showed an opposite trend for unfair offers provided by friends, suggesting that the influence of social distance on fairness perception is relatively fast.These results suggest that unfairness is evaluated in a fast conflict detection stage and a slower stage that integrates more complex social contextual factors such as anonymity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychology and Center for Studies of Psychological Application, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China.

ABSTRACT
Previous research indicated that fairness consideration can be influenced by social distance. However, it is not clear whether social distance and anonymity have an interactive impact on fairness evaluation during asset distribution and whether these processes can be documented in brain activity. Using a modified ultimatum game combined with measures of event related potential (ERP), we examined how social distance and anonymity modulate brain response to inequality. At the behavior level, we found that acceptance rate and reaction time can be substantially modified by social distance and anonymity. Feedback-related negativity, an ERP component associated with conflict between cognitive and emotion motives, was more negative in response to unfairness than fairness from strangers; however, it showed an opposite trend for unfair offers provided by friends, suggesting that the influence of social distance on fairness perception is relatively fast. The P300 in response to fair offers was more positive when the proposers made offers when uncertain about partner identity than when certain about partner identity. These results suggest that unfairness is evaluated in a fast conflict detection stage and a slower stage that integrates more complex social contextual factors such as anonymity.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus