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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 amount of monetary compensation to the two partners as a function of the participant subgroup (monetary versus social), the partners’ compensation strategy (paying money versus bearing pain) and pain-level (no/low/high). Error bars indicate standard errors. The upper asterisks denote the significance level of the two-way interactions, while the lower asterisks denote the significance level of the simple effects. ∗p < 0.05, ∗∗p < 0.01.
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Figure 5: The amount of monetary compensation to the two partners as a function of the participant subgroup (monetary versus social), the partners’ compensation strategy (paying money versus bearing pain) and pain-level (no/low/high). Error bars indicate standard errors. The upper asterisks denote the significance level of the two-way interactions, while the lower asterisks denote the significance level of the simple effects. ∗p < 0.05, ∗∗p < 0.01.

Mentions: The second phase of the study provided us with the opportunity to examine how participants’ own compensation behavior could be modulated by the relationship formed with each partner. To this end, we performed a repeated measures ANOVA on the monetary tokens that the participants allocated to the partner as compensation, with participant sub-group (monetary versus social) as a between-subject factor, and the partner’s compensation type in the first phase (paying money versus bearing noise) and pain-level (none/low/high) as within-subject factors. The three-way interaction was marginally significant, F(2,144) = 2.95, p = 0.056, = 0.04 (Figure 5). Specially, in the no pain condition the interaction between participant subgroup and the partner’s compensation type was significant, F(1,72) = 5.47, p < 0.05, = 0.07. For the monetary group, the amount of compensation did not differ between the two partners (6.6 ± 2.8 for the monetary partner, 7.4 ± 3.5 for the social partner), t(36) = 1.14, p > 0.1; for the social group, more compensation was offered to the social partner (22.1 ± 3.5) than to the monetary partner (14.4 ± 2.8), t(36) = 2.70, p < 0.05. At the low pain-level, the interaction between participant group and the partner’s compensation type was also significant, F(1, 72) = 10.43, p < 0.01, = 0.13. For the monetary group, the amount of compensation did not differ between the two partners (29.2 ± 3.6 for the monetary partner, 28.4 ± 4.3 for the social partner), t(36) < 1, p > 0.1; for the social group, more compensation was offered to the social partner (48.5 ± 4.3) than to the monetary partner (38.2 ± 3.6), t(36) = 3.49, p < 0.01. In the high pain condition, the interaction between participant group and the partner’s compensation type was not significant, F(1,72) < 1, p > 0.1. As can be seen from Figure 5, this three-way interaction was primarily driven by the lack of differential compensation toward the monetary and the social partner by the social group in the high pain condition. In fact, these participants made very high compensation (about 70 tokens out of 100) to both partners when they knew they caused very severe harm to the partners. If the three pain levels were collapsed, the two-way interaction between the participant’s group and the partner’s compensation strategy was significant, F(1,72) = 5.93, p < 0.05, = 0.08. Pairwise comparison with Bonferroni correction showed that for the social group, the allocation was higher to the social partner than to the monetary partner, F(1,72) = 14.53, p < 0.001. However, for the monetary group the allocation to the two partners did not differ, F < 1, p > 0.1.


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 amount of monetary compensation to the two partners as a function of the participant subgroup (monetary versus social), the partners’ compensation strategy (paying money versus bearing pain) and pain-level (no/low/high). Error bars indicate standard errors. The upper asterisks denote the significance level of the two-way interactions, while the lower asterisks denote the significance level of the simple effects. ∗p < 0.05, ∗∗p < 0.01.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Figure 5: The amount of monetary compensation to the two partners as a function of the participant subgroup (monetary versus social), the partners’ compensation strategy (paying money versus bearing pain) and pain-level (no/low/high). Error bars indicate standard errors. The upper asterisks denote the significance level of the two-way interactions, while the lower asterisks denote the significance level of the simple effects. ∗p < 0.05, ∗∗p < 0.01.
Mentions: The second phase of the study provided us with the opportunity to examine how participants’ own compensation behavior could be modulated by the relationship formed with each partner. To this end, we performed a repeated measures ANOVA on the monetary tokens that the participants allocated to the partner as compensation, with participant sub-group (monetary versus social) as a between-subject factor, and the partner’s compensation type in the first phase (paying money versus bearing noise) and pain-level (none/low/high) as within-subject factors. The three-way interaction was marginally significant, F(2,144) = 2.95, p = 0.056, = 0.04 (Figure 5). Specially, in the no pain condition the interaction between participant subgroup and the partner’s compensation type was significant, F(1,72) = 5.47, p < 0.05, = 0.07. For the monetary group, the amount of compensation did not differ between the two partners (6.6 ± 2.8 for the monetary partner, 7.4 ± 3.5 for the social partner), t(36) = 1.14, p > 0.1; for the social group, more compensation was offered to the social partner (22.1 ± 3.5) than to the monetary partner (14.4 ± 2.8), t(36) = 2.70, p < 0.05. At the low pain-level, the interaction between participant group and the partner’s compensation type was also significant, F(1, 72) = 10.43, p < 0.01, = 0.13. For the monetary group, the amount of compensation did not differ between the two partners (29.2 ± 3.6 for the monetary partner, 28.4 ± 4.3 for the social partner), t(36) < 1, p > 0.1; for the social group, more compensation was offered to the social partner (48.5 ± 4.3) than to the monetary partner (38.2 ± 3.6), t(36) = 3.49, p < 0.01. In the high pain condition, the interaction between participant group and the partner’s compensation type was not significant, F(1,72) < 1, p > 0.1. As can be seen from Figure 5, this three-way interaction was primarily driven by the lack of differential compensation toward the monetary and the social partner by the social group in the high pain condition. In fact, these participants made very high compensation (about 70 tokens out of 100) to both partners when they knew they caused very severe harm to the partners. If the three pain levels were collapsed, the two-way interaction between the participant’s group and the partner’s compensation strategy was significant, F(1,72) = 5.93, p < 0.05, = 0.08. Pairwise comparison with Bonferroni correction showed that for the social group, the allocation was higher to the social partner than to the monetary partner, F(1,72) = 14.53, p < 0.001. However, for the monetary group the allocation to the two partners did not differ, F < 1, p > 0.1.

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.