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Fairness norms and theory of mind in an ultimatum game: judgments, offers, and decisions in school-aged children.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(8):e105024.Plos

Abstract

The sensitivity to fairness undergoes relevant changes across development. Whether such changes depend on primary inequity aversion or on sensitivity to a social norm of fairness is still debated. Using a modified version of the Ultimatum Game that creates informational asymmetries between Proposer and Responder, a previous study showed that both perceptions of fairness and fair behavior depend upon normative expectations, i.e., beliefs about what others expect one should do in a specific situation. Individuals tend to comply with the norm when risking sanctions, but disregard the norm when violations are undetectable. Using the same methodology with children aged 8-10 years, the present study shows that children's beliefs and behaviors differ from what is observed in adults. Playing as Proposers, children show a self-serving bias only when there is a clear informational asymmetry. Playing as Responders, they show a remarkable discrepancy between their normative judgment about fair procedures (a coin toss to determine the offer) and their behavior (rejection of an unfair offer derived from the coin toss), supporting the existence of an outcome bias effect. Finally, our results reveal no influence of theory of mind on children's decision-making behavior.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Research Unit on Theory of Mind, Department of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Italy.Research Unit on Theory of Mind, Department of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Italy.Behavioral Ethics Lab, Departments of Philosophy and Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America.Research Unit on Theory of Mind, Department of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Italy.

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25118863

Citation

Castelli, Ilaria, et al. "Fairness Norms and Theory of Mind in an Ultimatum Game: Judgments, Offers, and Decisions in School-aged Children." PloS One, vol. 9, no. 8, 2014, pp. e105024.
Castelli I, Massaro D, Bicchieri C, et al. Fairness norms and theory of mind in an ultimatum game: judgments, offers, and decisions in school-aged children. PLoS One. 2014;9(8):e105024.
Castelli, I., Massaro, D., Bicchieri, C., Chavez, A., & Marchetti, A. (2014). Fairness norms and theory of mind in an ultimatum game: judgments, offers, and decisions in school-aged children. PloS One, 9(8), e105024. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0105024
Castelli I, et al. Fairness Norms and Theory of Mind in an Ultimatum Game: Judgments, Offers, and Decisions in School-aged Children. PLoS One. 2014;9(8):e105024. PubMed PMID: 25118863.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Fairness norms and theory of mind in an ultimatum game: judgments, offers, and decisions in school-aged children. AU - Castelli,Ilaria, AU - Massaro,Davide, AU - Bicchieri,Cristina, AU - Chavez,Alex, AU - Marchetti,Antonella, Y1 - 2014/08/13/ PY - 2013/07/18/received PY - 2014/07/18/accepted PY - 2014/8/15/entrez PY - 2014/8/15/pubmed PY - 2015/12/23/medline SP - e105024 EP - e105024 JF - PloS one JO - PLoS One VL - 9 IS - 8 N2 - The sensitivity to fairness undergoes relevant changes across development. Whether such changes depend on primary inequity aversion or on sensitivity to a social norm of fairness is still debated. Using a modified version of the Ultimatum Game that creates informational asymmetries between Proposer and Responder, a previous study showed that both perceptions of fairness and fair behavior depend upon normative expectations, i.e., beliefs about what others expect one should do in a specific situation. Individuals tend to comply with the norm when risking sanctions, but disregard the norm when violations are undetectable. Using the same methodology with children aged 8-10 years, the present study shows that children's beliefs and behaviors differ from what is observed in adults. Playing as Proposers, children show a self-serving bias only when there is a clear informational asymmetry. Playing as Responders, they show a remarkable discrepancy between their normative judgment about fair procedures (a coin toss to determine the offer) and their behavior (rejection of an unfair offer derived from the coin toss), supporting the existence of an outcome bias effect. Finally, our results reveal no influence of theory of mind on children's decision-making behavior. SN - 1932-6203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25118863/Fairness_norms_and_theory_of_mind_in_an_ultimatum_game:_judgments_offers_and_decisions_in_school_aged_children_ L2 - https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0105024 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -