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Rejection of unfair offers can be driven by negative emotions, evidence from modified ultimatum games with anonymity.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(6):e39619.Plos

Abstract

The rejection of unfair offers can be affected by both negative emotions (e.g. anger and moral disgust) and deliberate cognitive processing of behavioral consequences (e.g. concerns of maintaining social fairness and protecting personal reputation). However, whether negative emotions are sufficient to motivate this behavior is still controversial. With modified ultimatum games, a recent study (Yamagishi T, et al. (2009) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:11520-11523) found that people reject unfair offers even when this behavior increases inequity, and even when they could not communicate to the proposers. Yamagishi suggested that rejection of unfair offers could occur without people's concerning of maintaining social fairness, and could be driven by negative emotions. However, as anonymity was not sufficiently guaranteed in Yamagishi's study, the rejection rates in their experiments may have been influenced by people's concerns of protecting personal reputation (reputational concerns) in addition to negative emotions; thus, it was unclear whether the rejection was driven by negative emotions, or by reputational concerns, or both. In the present study, with specific methods to ensure anonymity, the effect of reputational concerns was successfully ruled out. We found that in a private situation in which rejection could not be driven by reputational concerns, the rejection rates of unfair offers were significantly larger than zero, and in public situations in which rejection rates could be influenced by both negative emotions and reputational concerns, rejection rates were significantly higher than that in the private situation. These results, together with Yamagishi's findings, provided more complete evidence suggesting (a) that the rejection of unfair offers can be driven by negative emotions and (b) that deliberate cognitive processing of the consequences of the behavior can increase the rejection rate, which may benefit social cooperation.

Authors+Show Affiliations

CAS Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Disease and School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, China. man@ustc.edu.cnNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22761845

Citation

Ma, Ning, et al. "Rejection of Unfair Offers Can Be Driven By Negative Emotions, Evidence From Modified Ultimatum Games With Anonymity." PloS One, vol. 7, no. 6, 2012, pp. e39619.
Ma N, Li N, He XS, et al. Rejection of unfair offers can be driven by negative emotions, evidence from modified ultimatum games with anonymity. PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e39619.
Ma, N., Li, N., He, X. S., Sun, D. L., Zhang, X., & Zhang, D. R. (2012). Rejection of unfair offers can be driven by negative emotions, evidence from modified ultimatum games with anonymity. PloS One, 7(6), e39619. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0039619
Ma N, et al. Rejection of Unfair Offers Can Be Driven By Negative Emotions, Evidence From Modified Ultimatum Games With Anonymity. PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e39619. PubMed PMID: 22761845.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Rejection of unfair offers can be driven by negative emotions, evidence from modified ultimatum games with anonymity. AU - Ma,Ning, AU - Li,Nan, AU - He,Xiao-Song, AU - Sun,De-Lin, AU - Zhang,Xiaochu, AU - Zhang,Da-Ren, Y1 - 2012/06/28/ PY - 2012/01/12/received PY - 2012/05/23/accepted PY - 2012/7/5/entrez PY - 2012/7/5/pubmed PY - 2013/3/22/medline SP - e39619 EP - e39619 JF - PloS one JO - PLoS One VL - 7 IS - 6 N2 - The rejection of unfair offers can be affected by both negative emotions (e.g. anger and moral disgust) and deliberate cognitive processing of behavioral consequences (e.g. concerns of maintaining social fairness and protecting personal reputation). However, whether negative emotions are sufficient to motivate this behavior is still controversial. With modified ultimatum games, a recent study (Yamagishi T, et al. (2009) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:11520-11523) found that people reject unfair offers even when this behavior increases inequity, and even when they could not communicate to the proposers. Yamagishi suggested that rejection of unfair offers could occur without people's concerning of maintaining social fairness, and could be driven by negative emotions. However, as anonymity was not sufficiently guaranteed in Yamagishi's study, the rejection rates in their experiments may have been influenced by people's concerns of protecting personal reputation (reputational concerns) in addition to negative emotions; thus, it was unclear whether the rejection was driven by negative emotions, or by reputational concerns, or both. In the present study, with specific methods to ensure anonymity, the effect of reputational concerns was successfully ruled out. We found that in a private situation in which rejection could not be driven by reputational concerns, the rejection rates of unfair offers were significantly larger than zero, and in public situations in which rejection rates could be influenced by both negative emotions and reputational concerns, rejection rates were significantly higher than that in the private situation. These results, together with Yamagishi's findings, provided more complete evidence suggesting (a) that the rejection of unfair offers can be driven by negative emotions and (b) that deliberate cognitive processing of the consequences of the behavior can increase the rejection rate, which may benefit social cooperation. SN - 1932-6203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22761845/Rejection_of_unfair_offers_can_be_driven_by_negative_emotions_evidence_from_modified_ultimatum_games_with_anonymity_ L2 - https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0039619 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -