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ERIC Number: EJ863002
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Are Irrational Reactions to Unfairness Truly Emotionally-Driven? Dissociated Behavioural and Emotional Responses in the Ultimatum Game Task
Civai, Claudia; Corradi-Dell'Acqua, Corrado; Gamer, Matthias; Rumiati, Raffaella I.
Cognition, v114 n1 p89-95 Jan 2010
The "irrational" rejections of unfair offers by people playing the Ultimatum Game (UG), a widely used laboratory model of economical decision-making, have traditionally been associated with negative emotions, such as frustration, elicited by unfairness ([Sanfey et al., 2003] and [van't Wout et al., 2006]). We recorded skin conductance responses as a measure of emotional activation while participants performed a modified version of the UG, in which they were asked to play both for themselves and on behalf of a third-party. Our findings show that even unfair offers are rejected when participants' payoff is not affected ("third-party" condition); however, they show an increase in the emotional activation specifically when they are rejecting offers directed towards themselves ("myself" condition). These results suggest that theories emphasizing negative emotions as the critical factor of "irrational" rejections (Pillutla & Murninghan, 1996) should be re-discussed. Psychological mechanisms other than emotions might be better candidates for explaining this behaviour. (Contains 5 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A