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Acta Psychologica Sinica
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The Effect of Proposer’s Intention, Comparative Payoffs and Absolute Payoffs on the Fairness in Responders with Different Ages
LIANG Fucheng1; WANG Xinyi2; TANG Weihai3
(1 President Office, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300387, China) (2 Academy of Psychology and Behavior, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300074, China) (3 School of Educational Science, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300387, China)
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Abstract  

Responders often refuse unfair offers at the cost of their own interests in the ultimatum game (UG). Many theoretical and empirical studies are trying to explain this behavior in terms of intention and payoffs. Although social utility model divides payoffs into comparative ones and absolute ones that respectively represent fair tendency and self-interest tendency, few empirical researches have proved this view. Thus, the effects of intention, comparative payoffs and absolute payoffs on individual’s decision in UG were examined. Moreover, how these three factors affected the decision of responders with different ages was also investigated. It was hypothesized that: fairness in responders with different ages had different manifestation, and with the growth of the age, the factors which affected responders’ decision in UG were gradually complicated. To study whether the effects of intention, comparative payoffs and absolute payoffs can be separated in the course of decision, 39 undergraduates and postgraduates were recruited in the first experiment. It was examined whether the rejection times of the same offer in three different conditions existed significant difference. Based on this successful separation design, the second experiment recruited thirty participants in each age group, including younger children group (4-5 years old), older children group (9-11 years old) and teenagers group (16-18 years old). A design of 3 (age group) * 3(distribution situation) * 5 (offer type) was conducted. The three distribution situations were the anonym distribution situation, the random number generator distribution situation, and the computer distribution situation. The offer types included 1/9, 2/8, 3/7, 4/6 and 5/5. It was found that: (1) younger children tended to accept all the offers. (2) compared with other age groups, older children’ s rejection rates in three distribution situations were significantly more, so was that for most offer types. (3) teenagers’ rejection times on 2/8 and 3/7 offers had significant difference in different distribution situations. The rejection times on 2/8 offer in the anonym distribution situation were significantly more than that in the random number generator distribution situation. The rejection times on 2/8 and 3/7 offers in the computer distribution situation were significantly over zero. (4) adults' rejection times on 1/9, 2/8 and 3/7 offers had significantly difference in different distribution situations. The rejection times on 1/9 and 2/8 offers in the random number generator distribution situation were significantly more than that in the computer distribution situation. The rejection times on 3/7 offer in the anonym distribution situation were significantly more than that in the random number generator distribution situation. The rejection times on 1/9, 2/8 and 3/7 offers in the computer distribution situation were significantly over zero. It was indicated that younger children made decision based on self-interest, and they could hardly resist the attraction of absolute payoffs, while older children began to consider about comparative payoffs, and they could resist the attraction of absolute payoffs and pay attention to proposer's intention. Teenagers were in the period of paying attention to proposer's intention and they made decision according to intention and absolute payoffs, whereas fairness in adults was affected by intention, comparative payoffs and absolute payoffs. This study not only enriched the social preferences models about intention and payoffs but also testified the effects of these three factors on individual’s decision in UG. In addition, it provided a reasonable explanation for the fairness in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood.

Keywords fairness      responder      intention      comparative payoffs      absolute payoffs     
Corresponding Authors: TANG Weihai, E-mail: twhpsy@126.com    
Issue Date: 25 March 2015
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LIANG Fucheng
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LIANG Fucheng,WANG Xinyi,TANG Weihai. The Effect of Proposer’s Intention, Comparative Payoffs and Absolute Payoffs on the Fairness in Responders with Different Ages[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00353
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00353     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2015/V47/I3/353
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