Data_Sheet_1_Influences of a Luck Game on Offers in Ultimatum and Dictator Games: Is There a Mediation of Emotions?.pdf (144.6 kB)
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Data_Sheet_1_Influences of a Luck Game on Offers in Ultimatum and Dictator Games: Is There a Mediation of Emotions?.pdf

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posted on 03.02.2020, 14:35 authored by Olimpia Matarazzo, Barbara Pizzini, Claudia Greco

The ultimatum (UG) and dictator (DG) games are two tasks where a sum of money has to be divided between two players: a proposer and a receiver. Following the rational choice theory, proposers should offer the minimum in the UG and nothing in the DG, due to the presence/absence of the receivers’ bargaining power. The fact that people generally make non-negligible offers in both games has suggested divergent explicative hypotheses and has generated extensive research to examine exogenous and endogenous factors underlying such decisions. Among the contextual factors affecting the proposers’ offers, the sense of entitlement or of ownership has been shown to reduce offers significantly. A frequent way to induce the sense of entitlement/ownership has been to assign the role of proposer to the player who apparently has better scored in skill tasks executed before the UG or DG or has more contributed, through a previous luck game, to the amount to be shared. Such manipulations, however, could produce a possible overlapping between “ownership” and “merit,” that in this study we aimed to disentangle. We manipulated the participants’ initial endowment through a luck game, by increasing, decreasing or leaving it unchanged, to investigate whether winnings or losses by chance influenced offers in UG and DG in similar or different ways depending on their respective features. All participants played as proposers but this role was apparently random and disconnected from the outcomes of the luck game. Furthermore, we investigated whether the putative effect of experimental manipulation was mediated by the changes in emotions elicited by the luck game and/or by the emotions and beliefs related to decision-making. We used a non-economic version of the games, in which tokens were divided instead of money. In the study, 300 unpaid undergraduates (M = 152) from different degree programs, aged between 18 and 42 years, participated. The results revealed that the effect of outcome manipulation on offers was moderated by the specific structure of the UG and DG. Instead, emotional reactions barely mediated the effect of the experimental manipulation, suggesting that their role in those decisions is less relevant than is assumed in the literature.

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