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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.


The amplitude of FRN and P300.The FRN amplitudes (mean ± SE, in μV) for the four experimental conditions are shown in (A,B). The P300 amplitude (mean ± SE, in μV) for the four experimental conditions are shown in (C,D).
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f5: The amplitude of FRN and P300.The FRN amplitudes (mean ± SE, in μV) for the four experimental conditions are shown in (A,B). The P300 amplitude (mean ± SE, in μV) for the four experimental conditions are shown in (C,D).

Mentions: Each of the 19 participants had at least 36 trials in each condition for EEG averaging. The group waveforms for the four experimental conditions after 1–20 HZ band-pass filtering are shown in Fig. 4A,B. At the frontal-central locations, for the FRN amplitude (see Fig. 5), repeated-measures ANOVA using social distance (friend vs. stranger), fairness (fair vs. unfair), and anonymity (certainty about identity vs. uncertainty about identity) as independent factors, found no main effects but did find a significant interaction between social distance and fairness, F(1, 18) = 4.642, p = 0.045, ηp2 = 0.205. Post-hoc analysis revealed that the FRN effect (unfair minus fair) was larger in the friend condition (mean ± SE 0.210 μV ± 0.295) than in the stranger condition (mean ± SE, −0.509 μV ± 0.266), t(18) = 2.159, p = 0.045. There was also an opposite trend. Unfair offers elicited more negative FRN than fair offers in the stranger-allocation, while unfair offers elicited more positive FRN than fair offers in the friend-allocation. No other effect reached significance, p > 0.1. The difference waveforms and corresponding topographical maps are shown in Fig. 6.


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

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

The amplitude of FRN and P300.The FRN amplitudes (mean ± SE, in μV) for the four experimental conditions are shown in (A,B). The P300 amplitude (mean ± SE, in μV) for the four experimental conditions are shown in (C,D).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

f5: The amplitude of FRN and P300.The FRN amplitudes (mean ± SE, in μV) for the four experimental conditions are shown in (A,B). The P300 amplitude (mean ± SE, in μV) for the four experimental conditions are shown in (C,D).
Mentions: Each of the 19 participants had at least 36 trials in each condition for EEG averaging. The group waveforms for the four experimental conditions after 1–20 HZ band-pass filtering are shown in Fig. 4A,B. At the frontal-central locations, for the FRN amplitude (see Fig. 5), repeated-measures ANOVA using social distance (friend vs. stranger), fairness (fair vs. unfair), and anonymity (certainty about identity vs. uncertainty about identity) as independent factors, found no main effects but did find a significant interaction between social distance and fairness, F(1, 18) = 4.642, p = 0.045, ηp2 = 0.205. Post-hoc analysis revealed that the FRN effect (unfair minus fair) was larger in the friend condition (mean ± SE 0.210 μV ± 0.295) than in the stranger condition (mean ± SE, −0.509 μV ± 0.266), t(18) = 2.159, p = 0.045. There was also an opposite trend. Unfair offers elicited more negative FRN than fair offers in the stranger-allocation, while unfair offers elicited more positive FRN than fair offers in the friend-allocation. No other effect reached significance, p > 0.1. The difference waveforms and corresponding topographical maps are shown in Fig. 6.

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.