ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2015, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (8): 1028-1038.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.01028

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  1. (1天津师范大学心理与行为研究院, 天津 300074) (2福州大学人文学院应用心理学系, 福州 350116)
     (3 Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Delaware, USA)
  • 收稿日期:2014-09-08 出版日期:2015-08-25 发布日期:2015-08-25
  • 通讯作者: 王益文, E-mail:; 敬一鸣,; 何少颖, E-mail:
  • 基金资助:


The Decision-making and Outcome Evaluation during a Repeated Trust Game

WANG Yiwen1; ZHANG Zhen1; YUAN Sheng1; GUO Fengbo1; HE Shaoying2; JING Yiming3   

  1. (1 Academy of Psychology and Behavior, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300074, China)
    (2 Department of Applied Psychology, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350116, China)
     (3 Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Delaware, USA)
  • Received:2014-09-08 Online:2015-08-25 Published:2015-08-25
  • Contact: WANG Yiwen, E-mail:; JING Yiming,; HE Shaoying, E-mail:


“信任他人或者不信任他人?”是社会互动中经常面临一种行为决择, 直接影响着个体的社会生活。作为一种重要的社会信号机制, 信任是建立良好社会关系的基石, 它能够降低社会交易成本, 易化合作行为。为了探究个体在信任互动情境下大脑活动变化的时间动态特征, 采用事件相关电位技术记录了20名健康被试(充当信任者)完成重复性信任博弈任务(repeated Trust Game, rTG)时的脑电成分。行为结果发现个体选择信任的比例显著高于几率水平。电生理学结果表明, 决策阶段中不信任选择比信任选择诱发了更正的P2成分(150~250 ms), 差异波溯源分析定位于额中回(middle frontal gyrus, BA 46)和额下回(inferior frontal gyrus, BA 46)。反馈阶段中损失反馈比获益反馈诱发了更负的FRN成分(200~300 ms), 而获益反馈比损失反馈诱发了更短的P300潜伏期。本研究为理解人类信任博弈过程的动态加工时程提供了初步的神经电生理学证据。

关键词: 信任博弈, 决策过程, 结果评价, P2, FRN, P300


To trust or not to trust is a social dilemma which impacts our way of life. As an important social signaling mechanism, trust is critical to the development of long-term social relationships, which could reduce transaction costs, facilitate cooperative behavior, and promote the prosperity of human society. Previous fMRI research based on the Trust Game has revealed some brain regions recruited for the decision to trust, including medial prefrontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and right temporoparietal junction. However, the temporal characteristics of the trustor’s decision-making and outcome evaluation during the Trust Game are still unclear. We aim to address this limitation and understand the cognitive and biological mechanisms underlying decisions to trust. In the current study, we employed the event-related potentials (ERPs) technology to record 20 healthy participants’ electrical brain activity while they played the role of trustor in a repeated Trust Game. During this game, participants made decisions to trust or not to trust a same counterpart over 150 trials. The counterpart’s reciprocation strategy was manipulated by the experimenter (50% reinforcement rate). Participants were provided with post-decision feedback about the outcome of their decisions (gain or loss game points) in each trial. The behavioral data and ERP component in the decision phase and the outcome evaluation phase were analyzed. Behavioral results revealed that participants made trusting decisions more often than chance. Electrophysiological results found that the peak amplitudes of P2 for distrusting choice were significantly larger than trusting choice in the decision phase. The neural activity in the P2 time window that differentiated between distrusting and trusting choices was potentially generated in the middle frontal gyrus and the inferior frontal gyrus. In the outcome phase, the feedback-related negativity (FRN) was more negative going in response to loss feedback compared to gain feedback, while P300 latency was shorter in response to gain feedback than in response to loss feedback. Our data provide some insights into the psychophysiological processes underlying human’s trust decision-making for the repeated social interactions. Specifically, in the decision phase, distrusting choice induced a larger P2 than did trusting choice, which may reflect conflict detection caused by the violation of injunctive norms of cooperation and trust. In the outcome evaluation phase, FRN was larger in response to loss feedback compared to gain feedback, which may indicate the violation of reward expectation associated with trusting decisions. These findings highlight the ingrained norm of cooperation and trust in modern society, and reveal some temporal characteristics of the trustor’s decision making and outcome evaluation processes in the repeated trust game.

Key words: Trust game, decision-making, outcome evaluation, P2, feedback related negativity, P300