ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2023, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (12): 1997-2012.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.01997

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


尤婷婷, 张利平, 祁国梅, 龙长权()   

  1. 西南大学心理学部, 重庆 400715
  • 收稿日期:2022-09-25 发布日期:2023-10-16 出版日期:2023-12-25
  • 通讯作者: 龙长权, E-mail:
  • 基金资助:

Opportunity (in)equity affects outcome evaluation at an early cognitive stage

YOU Tingting, ZHANG Liping, QI Guomei, LONG Changquan()   

  1. Faculty of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
  • Received:2022-09-25 Online:2023-10-16 Published:2023-12-25


以往的研究表明, 机会公平会影响个体实际结果的评价, 但尚不清楚这种影响是仅发生在早期阶段还是同时发生在早期和晚期阶段。本研究采用事件相关电位技术, 控制主观预期与实际预期的差异以及个体机会数的变化, 并进行主成分分析以控制脑电成分的重叠, 探讨了在竞争情境中, 机会公平影响个体实际结果评价的认知加工进程。实验采用3 (机会条件:有利机会不公平(AI)、机会公平(OE)、不利机会不公平(DI)) × 3 (实际结果:赢、平局、输)被试内实验设计。行为结果表明, 机会公平和个人实际结果在愉悦感评分上存在显著交互作用, 表明机会公平会影响个体对实际结果的评价。ERP结果表明, 当被试赢时, 三种机会条件诱发的原始FRN和PCA-FRN波幅无显著差异; 当被试输时, AI和DI比OE诱发了更负的原始FRN和PCA-FRN波幅, 表明机会公平在认知加工的早期阶段影响个体实际结果的评价, 当处境不利时, 个体对机会公平更加敏感。同时, 机会条件不影响原始P300和PCA-P300波幅, 平局比输和赢诱发了更大的PCA-P300波幅, 这表明在个体实际结果评价的晚期加工阶段, 更重视结果公平, 对公平的结果投入了更多的注意资源。这些结果表明机会公平对个体实际结果评价的影响主要发生在早期阶段, 支持了“人们对结果公平的关注强于机会公平”这一假说。

关键词: 公正, FRN, P300, 主成分分析


Opportunity equity is highly desired in human society. Previous studies have shown that opportunity (in)equity influences the evaluation of subsequent outcomes. However, it is unclear whether this influence occurs only at an early cognitive stage or extends to a late cognitive stage as well. Based on the notion that “people seem to be more committed to outcome equity than opportunity equity,” we hypothesized that opportunity (in)equity would affect outcome evaluation at an early stage in the cognitive process, but not at a late stage. Additionally, we indicate how limitations in the experimental design and data analysis of previous studies may have affected their conclusions.

To examine the cognitive stage at which opportunity (in)equity influences outcome evaluations in a competitive social context, we recruited 31 college students (19 females, 19.52 ± 1.46 years) to participate in a competitive two-person choice game with their opponents. To account for the difference between subjective and objective predictions and the effect of varied choice numbers, we designed the game so that the participants had four cards in all trials. In contrast, their opponents randomly received two, four, or six cards in each trial, creating three opportunity conditions: advantageous opportunity inequity (AI), opportunity equity (OE), and disadvantageous opportunity inequity (DI). Both players selected only one card from the available options to compare their outcomes, which could result in a win, draw, or loss. Similar to previous studies, we recorded and analyzed event-related potential responses to actual outcomes, focusing on feedback-related negativity (FRN) and P300. We performed principal component analysis (PCA) to disentangle the overlap of FRN and P300.

The analysis of behavioral results of our study demonstrated a significant interaction between opportunities and outcomes in relation to subjective pleasantness rating scores, indicating that opportunity (in)equity indeed influenced outcome evaluation. Furthermore, we found a significant interaction between opportunities and outcomes for both the original and PCA-FRN amplitudes, indicating that opportunity (in)equity affected outcome evaluation at an early cognitive stage. Specifically, when participants experienced a win, there was no significant difference in the original and PCA-FRN amplitudes among the three opportunity conditions. In contrast, when participants lost, AI and DI elicited more negative original and PCA-FRN amplitudes than OE, suggesting that participants were sensitive to opportunity equity in the context of loss. Moreover, we did not find a significant interaction between opportunities and outcomes, nor a main effect of opportunities, for either the original or PCA-P300 amplitudes. These results suggest that opportunity (in)equity did not have a significant influence on outcome evaluation at a late cognitive stage. Notably, draws elicited larger PCA-P300 amplitudes compared to wins and losses, indicating that participants were sensitive to outcome equity.

In conclusion, our study demonstrates that opportunity (in)equity influences outcome evaluation at an early cognitive stage but not at a late stage. These findings provide valuable insights into the intricate temporal dynamics of the interaction between opportunity equity and actual outcomes, and contribute to fostering a more equitable society.

Key words: equality, FRN, P300, principal component analysis