Natural Rationality | decision-making in the economy of nature

11/29/07

I'm so sad I would accept anything

no I am good, thanks, I just found a new study on the Ultimatum Game by Harlé & Sanfey that show that people in a sad (but not in a happy) mood reject more 'unfair' offers:


Our findings are consistent with our initial hypothesis, namely that sadness may focus the responder's attention on the negative emotional consequences of unfair offers rather than the positive impact of accepting such offers (i.e., monetary reward), thereby prompting lower acceptance rates of unfair offers. In addition, although information processing was not explicitly tested, our findings are consistent with motivational theories on the processing consequences of affect, whereby sadness is likely to promote a more vigilant processing style, reflecting a motivation to enhance the processing of information related to potentially threatening and harmful situations (Forgas, 2003). Such enhanced processing would again make individuals in a sad mood more likely to focus on the threatening aspect of being treated unfairly (in contrast with individuals in neutral or positive moods), thus potentially leading to more rejections of these unfair offers.

Harlé, K. M., & Sanfey, A. G. (2007). Incidental sadness biases social economic decisions in the Ultimatum Game. Emotion, 7(4), 876-81.



2 Comments:

Sandy G said...

Hi Benoit!

You got this totally wrong!! People in sad mood reject more unfair offers than people in happy or neutral mood as per the abstract (and that seems to make sense to me also). I'm sure you'll correct this typo!

Benoit Hardy-Vallee said...

oups! corrected.
thanks you !