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Can money heal all wounds? Social exchange norm modulates the preference for monetary versus social compensation.

Cao Y, Yu H, Wu Y, Zhou X - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: The effectiveness of a certain compensation strategy (e.g., repaying money, sharing loss, etc.) may vary as a function of the social norm/relationship.In the second phase of the experiment, when the participants became transgressors and were asked to compensate for their transgression with money, the social group offered more compensation to the social partners than to the monetary partners, while the monetary group compensated less than the social group in general and showed no difference in their offers to the monetary and social partners.These findings demonstrate that the effectiveness of compensation varies as a function of individuals' preference for communal versus monetary norm and that monetary compensation alone does not heal all wounds.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Department of Psychology, Peking University Beijing, China.

ABSTRACT
Compensation is a kind of pro-social behavior that can restore a social relationship jeopardized by interpersonal transgression. The effectiveness of a certain compensation strategy (e.g., repaying money, sharing loss, etc.) may vary as a function of the social norm/relationship. Previous studies have shown that two types of norms (or relationships), monetary/exchange and social/communal, differentially characterize people's appraisal of and response to social exchanges. In this study, we investigated how individual differences in preference for these norms affect individuals' perception of others' as well as the selection of their own reciprocal behaviors. In a two-phase experiment with interpersonal transgression, we asked the participant to perform a dot-estimation task with two partners who occasionally and unintentionally inflicted noise stimulation upon the participant (first phase). As compensation one partner gave money to the participant 80% of the time (the monetary partner) and the other bore the noise for the participant 80% of the time (the social partner). Results showed that the individuals' preference for compensation (repaying money versus bearing noise) affected their relationship (exchange versus communal) with the partners adopting different compensation strategies: participants tended to form communal relationships and felt closer to the partner whose compensation strategy matched their own preference. The participants could be differentiated into a social group, who tended to form communal relationship with the social partner, and a monetary group, who tended to form communal relationship with the monetary partner. In the second phase of the experiment, when the participants became transgressors and were asked to compensate for their transgression with money, the social group offered more compensation to the social partners than to the monetary partners, while the monetary group compensated less than the social group in general and showed no difference in their offers to the monetary and social partners. These findings demonstrate that the effectiveness of compensation varies as a function of individuals' preference for communal versus monetary norm and that monetary compensation alone does not heal all wounds.

No MeSH data available.


The task in the first phase. Each trial began with a fixation and then a cue indicating which partner was paired with the participant for the current trial. The participant was told that his/her partner had to quickly estimate the number of dots on the screen by pressing a corresponding button to indicate whether his/her estimation was more or less than a number (randomly chosen from 19, 20, and 21) which appeared on the next screen. The outcome of the estimation (correct versus incorrect) was communicated to the participant on the next screen. After a correct performance, the partner received 100 monetary tokens as a reward and the next round began. After an incorrect performance, the participant was threatened with the possibility of receiving noise stimulation, and the partner had the chance to choose from two compensation options: paying 100 tokens to the participant or bearing the noise for the participant. The partner’s decision was communicated to the participant on the screen. Finally, the noise stimulation was delivered to the participant if his/her partner decided to pay money, or to his/her partner if the partner decided to bear the noise stimulation for the participant.
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Figure 1: The task in the first phase. Each trial began with a fixation and then a cue indicating which partner was paired with the participant for the current trial. The participant was told that his/her partner had to quickly estimate the number of dots on the screen by pressing a corresponding button to indicate whether his/her estimation was more or less than a number (randomly chosen from 19, 20, and 21) which appeared on the next screen. The outcome of the estimation (correct versus incorrect) was communicated to the participant on the next screen. After a correct performance, the partner received 100 monetary tokens as a reward and the next round began. After an incorrect performance, the participant was threatened with the possibility of receiving noise stimulation, and the partner had the chance to choose from two compensation options: paying 100 tokens to the participant or bearing the noise for the participant. The partner’s decision was communicated to the participant on the screen. Finally, the noise stimulation was delivered to the participant if his/her partner decided to pay money, or to his/her partner if the partner decided to bear the noise stimulation for the participant.

Mentions: In the first phase of the study (Figure 1), the participant was told to pay attention to their partners’ behavioral pattern. The partner’s identity was indicated by a number (i.e., Partner 1 or Partner 2), thus preventing the participant from knowing the partner’s true identity. In each round of the game, one partner was randomly chosen to interact with the participant. The participant was told that this partner underwent a dot-estimation task (Yu et al., 2014): if the partner estimated incorrectly, the participant was administered a moderate but unpleasant noise stimulation for 10 s. The noise stimulation was induced by a pair of earphones linked to a computer at a fixed volume calibrated before the experiment. Before the noise delivery, the partner could choose to compensate the participant by either allocating 100 tokens to the participant or by bearing the noise for the participant. The participant would avoid the noise but not receive the 100 tokens if the partner chose to bear the noise, or they would receive 100 tokens but bear the unpleasant noise if the partner chose to pay money. Note that the feedback of the performance on the dot-estimation task and partners’ choice of compensation were predetermined by a computer program so that the partners’ accounts were always enough to pay the 100 tokens as compensation during the game. If the partner estimated correctly, the partner received 100 tokens as a reward. Specifically, the partner’s choice of compensation was predetermined so that Partner 1 chose monetary compensation 80% of the time (monetary condition) and Partner 2 chose noise-bearing 80% of the time (social condition). Hereafter, we refer to Partner 1 as the ‘monetary partner’ and Partner 2 as the ‘social partner’. The word ‘social’ is employed only to signify the compensation type (i.e., bearing noise). The first phase of the study consisted of 60 trials (30 for each partner) and lasted for about 15 min. Specifically, Partner 1 (the ‘monetary partner’) estimated correctly in 15 trials (fillers) and incorrectly in the other 15 trials. In the latter trials, the monetary partner chose monetary compensation in 12 trials and noise-bearing in three trials. Similarly, the social partner estimated correctly in 15 trials and incorrectly in 15 trials. In contrast to the monetary partner, the social partner chose noise-bearing in 12 trials and monetary compensation in three trials. Note, given that the noise stimulation was presented to the participant only sporadically, adaptation to noise was minimal and the adverse effect of the noise stimulation was maintained over the first phase.


Can money heal all wounds? Social exchange norm modulates the preference for monetary versus social compensation.

Cao Y, Yu H, Wu Y, Zhou X - Front Psychol (2015)

The task in the first phase. Each trial began with a fixation and then a cue indicating which partner was paired with the participant for the current trial. The participant was told that his/her partner had to quickly estimate the number of dots on the screen by pressing a corresponding button to indicate whether his/her estimation was more or less than a number (randomly chosen from 19, 20, and 21) which appeared on the next screen. The outcome of the estimation (correct versus incorrect) was communicated to the participant on the next screen. After a correct performance, the partner received 100 monetary tokens as a reward and the next round began. After an incorrect performance, the participant was threatened with the possibility of receiving noise stimulation, and the partner had the chance to choose from two compensation options: paying 100 tokens to the participant or bearing the noise for the participant. The partner’s decision was communicated to the participant on the screen. Finally, the noise stimulation was delivered to the participant if his/her partner decided to pay money, or to his/her partner if the partner decided to bear the noise stimulation for the participant.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4585206&req=5

Figure 1: The task in the first phase. Each trial began with a fixation and then a cue indicating which partner was paired with the participant for the current trial. The participant was told that his/her partner had to quickly estimate the number of dots on the screen by pressing a corresponding button to indicate whether his/her estimation was more or less than a number (randomly chosen from 19, 20, and 21) which appeared on the next screen. The outcome of the estimation (correct versus incorrect) was communicated to the participant on the next screen. After a correct performance, the partner received 100 monetary tokens as a reward and the next round began. After an incorrect performance, the participant was threatened with the possibility of receiving noise stimulation, and the partner had the chance to choose from two compensation options: paying 100 tokens to the participant or bearing the noise for the participant. The partner’s decision was communicated to the participant on the screen. Finally, the noise stimulation was delivered to the participant if his/her partner decided to pay money, or to his/her partner if the partner decided to bear the noise stimulation for the participant.
Mentions: In the first phase of the study (Figure 1), the participant was told to pay attention to their partners’ behavioral pattern. The partner’s identity was indicated by a number (i.e., Partner 1 or Partner 2), thus preventing the participant from knowing the partner’s true identity. In each round of the game, one partner was randomly chosen to interact with the participant. The participant was told that this partner underwent a dot-estimation task (Yu et al., 2014): if the partner estimated incorrectly, the participant was administered a moderate but unpleasant noise stimulation for 10 s. The noise stimulation was induced by a pair of earphones linked to a computer at a fixed volume calibrated before the experiment. Before the noise delivery, the partner could choose to compensate the participant by either allocating 100 tokens to the participant or by bearing the noise for the participant. The participant would avoid the noise but not receive the 100 tokens if the partner chose to bear the noise, or they would receive 100 tokens but bear the unpleasant noise if the partner chose to pay money. Note that the feedback of the performance on the dot-estimation task and partners’ choice of compensation were predetermined by a computer program so that the partners’ accounts were always enough to pay the 100 tokens as compensation during the game. If the partner estimated correctly, the partner received 100 tokens as a reward. Specifically, the partner’s choice of compensation was predetermined so that Partner 1 chose monetary compensation 80% of the time (monetary condition) and Partner 2 chose noise-bearing 80% of the time (social condition). Hereafter, we refer to Partner 1 as the ‘monetary partner’ and Partner 2 as the ‘social partner’. The word ‘social’ is employed only to signify the compensation type (i.e., bearing noise). The first phase of the study consisted of 60 trials (30 for each partner) and lasted for about 15 min. Specifically, Partner 1 (the ‘monetary partner’) estimated correctly in 15 trials (fillers) and incorrectly in the other 15 trials. In the latter trials, the monetary partner chose monetary compensation in 12 trials and noise-bearing in three trials. Similarly, the social partner estimated correctly in 15 trials and incorrectly in 15 trials. In contrast to the monetary partner, the social partner chose noise-bearing in 12 trials and monetary compensation in three trials. Note, given that the noise stimulation was presented to the participant only sporadically, adaptation to noise was minimal and the adverse effect of the noise stimulation was maintained over the first phase.

Bottom Line: The effectiveness of a certain compensation strategy (e.g., repaying money, sharing loss, etc.) may vary as a function of the social norm/relationship.In the second phase of the experiment, when the participants became transgressors and were asked to compensate for their transgression with money, the social group offered more compensation to the social partners than to the monetary partners, while the monetary group compensated less than the social group in general and showed no difference in their offers to the monetary and social partners.These findings demonstrate that the effectiveness of compensation varies as a function of individuals' preference for communal versus monetary norm and that monetary compensation alone does not heal all wounds.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Department of Psychology, Peking University Beijing, China.

ABSTRACT
Compensation is a kind of pro-social behavior that can restore a social relationship jeopardized by interpersonal transgression. The effectiveness of a certain compensation strategy (e.g., repaying money, sharing loss, etc.) may vary as a function of the social norm/relationship. Previous studies have shown that two types of norms (or relationships), monetary/exchange and social/communal, differentially characterize people's appraisal of and response to social exchanges. In this study, we investigated how individual differences in preference for these norms affect individuals' perception of others' as well as the selection of their own reciprocal behaviors. In a two-phase experiment with interpersonal transgression, we asked the participant to perform a dot-estimation task with two partners who occasionally and unintentionally inflicted noise stimulation upon the participant (first phase). As compensation one partner gave money to the participant 80% of the time (the monetary partner) and the other bore the noise for the participant 80% of the time (the social partner). Results showed that the individuals' preference for compensation (repaying money versus bearing noise) affected their relationship (exchange versus communal) with the partners adopting different compensation strategies: participants tended to form communal relationships and felt closer to the partner whose compensation strategy matched their own preference. The participants could be differentiated into a social group, who tended to form communal relationship with the social partner, and a monetary group, who tended to form communal relationship with the monetary partner. In the second phase of the experiment, when the participants became transgressors and were asked to compensate for their transgression with money, the social group offered more compensation to the social partners than to the monetary partners, while the monetary group compensated less than the social group in general and showed no difference in their offers to the monetary and social partners. These findings demonstrate that the effectiveness of compensation varies as a function of individuals' preference for communal versus monetary norm and that monetary compensation alone does not heal all wounds.

No MeSH data available.