Should You Trust Your Feelings in Ultimatum Games?

Andrew Stephen, Columbia University
Michel Tuan Pham, Columbia University
Five experiments show that, compared to lower trust in one’s feelings, (1) higher trust in one’s feelings results in less generous offers in ultimatum games, (2) especially in the dictator version of the game. Higher trust in one’s feelings also results in (3) greater rejection of unfair offers, but equivalent acceptance of fair offers. The findings do not appear to be driven by differences in perceptions of what players see as “fair” divisions under high versus low trust of feelings. Rather, players with high trust in their feelings appear play the game as if they interpreted it in a more literal fashion. Implications for the relation between emotion and rationality are discussed.
[ to cite ]:
Andrew Stephen and Michel Tuan Pham (2008) ,"Should You Trust Your Feelings in Ultimatum Games?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 59-62.