Nothing particularly interesting. Merely a rough draft, using all new (to me) sources, of the nature of the ultimatum bargaining game. I presume that in an expanded and improved form this will re-appear, but for now I am posting it for my own reference.
Read on only if you’re very interested, or very bored.
Research has been done with gameplay and learning disabled students, such as autistics (Sally & Hill, 2006). It also also shown how attractive people both receive higher shares and are expected to give more (Solnick & Schweister, 1999), and likewise how being participants artificially divded into high and low status groups treat each other differently (Ball and Eckel, 1996), It has even be shown how research itself is a type of ultimatum game (Bonetti, 1998).
At least among some cultural groups, adolescents are more generous than adults (Hoffmann & Tee, 2006). Relatedly, moral reasoning in game play increases in early adolescence — between the ages of 11 and 13 (Takezawa, Gummerum, & Keller, 2006). Reasoning takes ability into account. For instance, players act as if higher-skill players should earn more, but lower-skill players should not be expected to give as much (Ruffle 1998).
People use different strategies while playing the ultimatum game. Researchers in Russia observed that play-types seem to split into players who want at least a fair outcome for themselves and those who want a fair outcome for both players (Bahry & Wilson, 2006). Another study observed that players seem to be split into those who are sensitive to other’s injustice to them, to injustice against others, and unjust profiting (Fetchenhauer & Huang, 2004). An unfair action is more likely to be perceived to be injust if it was intentional as opposed to unintentional (Kagel, Kim, & Moser, 1996).
Game play also varies across type of game. For instance, players who maximize for expected reward may behave fairly in ultimatum games but unfairly in dictator games (Haselhuhn & Mellers, 2005) and behave more fairly when making one decision at a time than many decisions simultaneously (Bazerman, White, & Lowenstein, 1995). Similarly, behavior in the ultimatum game changes if the actions are described in terms of an everyday social interaction rather than as straight-forward bargaining (Larrick & Blount, 1997).
Still, game performance is not static. Behavior in the ultimatum game is influenced by norms of a people (Henrich, et al., 2005) and even a workplace (Kay, Wheeler, Bagh, & Ross, 2004). Knowledge about theoretical performance maximizing behavior changes performance (Lusk & Hudson, 2004), as does group decision making (which appears to improve rational behavior) (Robert & Carnevale, 1997). Likewise, chaotic conditions make it harder to learn how to maximize performance for responders than for proposers (Gale, Binmore, & Samuelson, 1995).
Perceptions of distributive justice are important (Humprey, Ellis, Conlon, & Tinsley, 2004) as is honesty (Croson, Boles, & Murnighan, 2003). As feelings of guilty are also important (Ketelaar & Au, 2003). Thus, it is not surprising that social awareness and thus awareness of would-be fair outcomes changes behavior, too (Handgraaf, Dijk, Wilke, & Vermunt, 2003). Some of the consequcnes of this are nonintuitive: for instance, it can be better to play an economic game from a powerless position, and this appears to cause the other player to be more concerned for your welfare (van Dijk & Vermunt, 2000). Similarly, changing the relative power of the players does not substantially alter play performance (Weg & Smith, 1993).
Reciprocity in playing games means rewarding kind actions and punishing bad ones (Falk & Fischbacher, 2006). A similar concept, altruism in the ultimatum game has been observed in among the Nigerian Igos (Gowdy, Iorgulescu, & Onyweiwu, 2003). American lawyers, explaining decisions they had made, also listed fairness as a greater cause of their actions than envy or altruism-as-such (Bethwaite & Tompkinson, 1996).
The uttimatum game has also been studied through computer simulations. Adaptive algorithms can yield in-game behavior similar to that observed in humans (Calderon & Zarama, 2006). The computer programs show how fairness can evolve if players are generally able to know how the other agent has played in the past (Nowak, Page, & Sigmund, 2000).
The connection to game-play excellence with creativity is worth considering. Stubbornness and persistence are associated in computer simulations with success, but so is the less-well-regarded attitude of capriciousness (Napel, 2003). General personality traits, such as independence and tough-mindedness, are also important (Brandstatter & Konigstein, 2001);
Explicit beliefs matter, as well. An interaction between fair beliefs and self-interested explained begaining behavior in both Japan and the United States (Buchan, Croson, Johnson, & Iacobucci, 2004).
Technical measuring devises have been used to study ultimatum game behavior. For instance, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortext (van ‘t Wout, Kahn, Sanfey, & Aleman, 2005) among other brain areas (Camerer, 2003).
The ultimatum game has been manipulated to create new games before. It has been changes to minimize the outcome of the proposing player (Gneezy, Haruvy, & Roth, 2003) as well as to incorporate elections (Sulkin & Simon, 2001) or democratic committe-style decision making (Messick, Moore, & Bazerman, 1997). Guth, Huck, and Muller altered it to prevent equal splits, and observed that proposed divisions decreased fair offers more than they expected (2001). Likewise, by reducing the size of the pie while decisions are being made, different choices are made (Suleiman, 1996). Similarly, when a rejection does not lead to all getting zero, but other predetermined positive figures, game play changes as well (Knez & Camerer, 1995). Further, when a third player is made completely dependent on the receiver player, it was found that the giving power is more generous and the receiving power less protective against exploitation (Oppewal & Tougareva, 1992).
A practical question is how the stakes of the game change behavior, and this is not nailed down yet. Increased stakes do seem to make subjects more pliant toward small rewards, but changing the stake size does not (Munier & Zaharia, 2002). Other researchers, while showing that reciprical kindness appears to explain most game behavior, note that the effective of changing the stakes is marginal when compared to the relative percentage offered (Dickenson, 2000).
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